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Utqiaġvik to Host Inuit Circumpolar Council’s 2018 General Assembly
The Inuit Circumpolar Council is pleased to announce that it has accepted the gracious offer from the North Slope Borough to host ICC’s 13th General Assembly July 16 to 19, 2018 in Utqiaġvik, Alaska.
“As Inuit, we are the people of the land in the Arctic who will continue to advance the livelihoods of our people through the unification of our innovative ideas within our circumpolar region," said Utqiaġvik Mayor Harry Brower Jr. in his commitment letter to host the event.
ICC assemblies, held every four years, bring together delegates from Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Chukotka, Russia to share experiences and discuss circumpolar strategies to address environmental, economic, human rights, health and social issues impacting all Inuit. Assemblies also celebrate the vibrant traditions, arts and culture of Inuit in the four countries. ICC Chair, Okalik Eegeesiak, welcomed the Mayor’s offer, noting “it is especially significant that the next assembly will be in Utqiaġvik, as this June we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the meeting convened here by Eben Hopson that led to the very establishment of ICC”.
The ICC executive council was meeting in Utqiaġvik last week to launch planning of the assembly and to discuss other circumpolar and international matters. The Arctic Council was a major topic of discussion, and an ICC statement will be presented at the May Ministerial Meeting to take place in Fairbanks, Alaska at which time the chairmanship of the Arctic Council will be turned over to Finland. ICC will also send a delegation to the April UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and will continue to press for the enhanced participation of Indigenous Peoples in UN bodies. The council meeting follows on the heels of a successful Circumpolar Inuit Economic Summit in Anchorage a few weeks ago which resulted in a commitment by participants to pursue closer cooperation across the circumpolar region. The summit was facilitated by the Inuit Circumpolar Council as mandated by the 2014 Kitigaaryuit Declaration which called on ICC to convene a Circumpolar Inuit Business Development Summit to explore potential collaboration among Inuit businesses and to share experiences.
ICC is planning two other summits in the coming year. A Wildlife Management Summit will be held in Canada in late fall 2017 and an Education Summit is scheduled for Greenland in the winter. The results of the summits and other ICC activities over the past four years will be presented to the delegates attending the July 2018 ICC General Assembly in Utqiaġvik.