Inuit youth head to New York City for big UN indigenous conference
ICC sending 14-member delegation, including new chair Okalik Eegeesiak
A group of young Inuit will participate next week in the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous People, which will take place at the UN general assembly in New York City next week, on Sept. 22 and Sept. 23.
The youth will attend the high-level plenary conference as observers, thanks to a grant from Canada World Youth, a Sept. 18 news release from the UN Indigenous Youth Caucus said.
More than 1,000 indigenous and non-indigenous delegates will discuss the rights of indigenous Peoples, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The declaration, adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007, calls for governments and corporations to obtain the “free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous communities” for use of their lands and resources.
Canada World Youth, in collaboration with Sarah Jancke of Cambridge Bay, who will represent the Inuit Circumpolar Council’s Canadian wing at the conference as a youth delegate, distributed and organized youth seats for the four Inuit regions within Alaska, Canada, Chukotka and Greenland.
The three youth representatives from Canada are conference delegate Jancke, who attended the 2013 Global Preparatory Indigenous Peoples Conference in Alta, Norway, as well as Thomas Johnston, the Nunavut Inuit Youth Council president, and John Stuart Jr. from Inuvik. Johnston and Stuart Jr. will attend as observers, Jancke said.
The other observers, not all of whom will be able to actually attend the gathering, represent different Inuit regions: three from Alaska, two from Canada, three from Chukotka, and two from Greenland.
As for ICC, its 14-member delegation will include Jancke, Aili Liimakka Laue of Greenland, also a youth delegate, as well as Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. president Cathy Towntongie, the ICC international chair Okalik Eegeesiak, and Pauktuutit Inuit women’s president Rebecca Kudloo, Jancke said.