Circumpolar Inuit org to set up international business council

“As the Arctic transforms, so the Arctic will transform the world”

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Inuit Circumpolar Council leaders speak in 2011 at a signing ceremony for “A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Resource Development Principles in Inuit Nunaat.


Inuit Circumpolar Council leaders speak in 2011 at a signing ceremony for “A Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Resource Development Principles in Inuit Nunaat.” From left to right: Carl Christian Olsen (Greenland), Aqqaluk Lynge, chair, Duane Smith (Canada) and Jim Stotts (Alaska). (FILE PHOTO)

Following an economic summit meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, the Inuit Circumpolar Council has agreed to set up a task force that will lead to the creation of a new body that they want to call the International Inuit Business Council.

“With the tremendous and growing interest in the Arctic it is time to gather together and discuss options for how Inuit businesses might take the next step — the step across borders,” Jimmy Stotts, the president of ICC Alaska, said March 30 in a news release.

The ICC decided to hold an economic summit in 2014, when they issued their Kitigaaryuit Declaration at a general assembly held in Inuvik.

At the Anchorage gathering, held March 28 to March 30, delegates heard experts talk about oil and gas development, air and marine transportation, mining, telecommunications, and potential future developments in the Arctic.

They also talked about existing businesses in their regions and areas of potential international co-operation, the news release said.

“As the Arctic transforms, so the Arctic will transform the world,” Verner Hammeken, the CEO of Greenland’s Royal Arctic Line, is quoted as saying in the release.

The proposed International Inuit Business Council, after it’s created, is intended to “cultivate business collaboration across the circumpolar Arctic,” the ICC said.

But it’s not clear to what extent this body would duplicate the work of the Arctic Economic Council, which held the Top of the World Broadband Summit July 13 to July 14, 2016 in Barrow, Alaska., or the business-oriented Arctic Circle organization.

“This is the time to re-imagine the economies of the Arctic from the Inuit perspective, for Inuit by Inuit. We want to be innovative and inclusive in our approach to sustainable business development in Inuit Nunaat,” the ICC’s international chair, Okalik Eegeesiak, said in the release.

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