This conference has been successfully completed.

We would like to say “thank you” again to all sponsors, speakers and participants.


December 4, 2015 │ Fairmont Chateau Laurier (Ottawa)

This one-day conference focused on the role of the Arctic Council as a forum for Arctic cooperation, the place of the Arctic in Canada’s foreign policy and approach to the circumpolar world, the role of the Arctic in global relations in light of the increasing interest in the region by European and Asian states, and the voice of Indigenous Peoples within the Arctic Council and in shaping circumpolar countries’ Arctic policies.

More than four million people, living in the eight Arctic states that make up the Arctic Council, call the Arctic region home. The Arctic is facing rapid changes in its climate, physical and human environment, with far-reaching impacts on the Northern peoples, communities and ecosystems. The Arctic Council, established in 1996 in Ottawa and with Canada being the inaugural Chair, was to provide a forum for the Arctic states, with the participation of indigenous peoples, to coordinate their efforts to address challenges in those areas. Over the years, many non-Arctic states has shown increasing interest in the region, which is reflected by the diverse group of countries with permanent observer status ranging from UK, Germany and China to South Korea and Singapore.

2016 is the 20th anniversary of the Arctic Council. Has the Council successfully served its role as an effective forum for Arctic cooperation? How has the Arctic Council shaped Canada’s circumpolar policies? What can the Arctic states do to foster greater cooperation to address climate change? What’s the best approach to achieve state sovereignty while maintaining the Arctic Council as a platform for international cooperation? Have Indigenous Peoples played a meaningful role within the Arctic Council and in shaping circumpolar states’ Arctic policies? What progress have Indigenous Peoples made in the past 20 years in their struggle for recognition and implementation of Aboriginal rights?

Our expert presenters reflected on those and other related topics during the conference, followed by responses from expert panel members and interactive debates among them. The conference provided an excellent opportunity for our expert faculty and delegates to share their insight, knowledge and experience on a broad range of issues related to the Arctic Council, international cooperation in the Arctic region, the development of the Arctic, the evolution of Canada’s Arctic policies and the roles of Indigenous Peoples.