Alaskans, Chukotkans gather


IQALUIT — Alaskan and Siberian leaders gathered in Nome, Alaska, last week in an effort to forge closer ties between the two regions.

Though many Inuit have relatives on both sides of the Bering Strait, for years the neighbouring areas were cut off by Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Russia.

At last week’s conference, Chukotkan vice-governor Vyacheslav Zolotarev and Alaskan lieutenant-governor Fran Ulmer pledged that their regions would work together on issues as diverse as science and sled-dog racing.

Delegates also discussed proposals for direct-mail routes and an international ferry system.

Twenty-four Chukotkans and dozens of Alaskans attended the two-day meeting. It was the first summit between the two regions since 1988.

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