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18th Inuit Studies Conference – Learning from the Top of the World

Conference advisory board: Vera Kingeekuk, Aqqaluk Lynge, Nancy Karetak-Lindell, and Louis-Jacques. Dorais.

November 30, 2012

The Canadian Studies Center is building its Arctic initiative bolstered, in part, by participation in the biennial Inuit Studies Conference held at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. 24-29 October 2012. This was the first year the Center participated in the Inuit Studies Conference serving to build new scholarly and organizational relationships with the Center.

Nadine Fabbi, Associate Director of the Center, chaired the panel entitled, “Inuit Governance, Land Claims and Sovereignty.” Nine panelists participated including from Greenland and Nunatsiavut, Canada’s eastern-most Inuit region. Johannas Lampe, Minister of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in Nunatsiavut, and Dave Lough, Deputy Minister of Culture, presented on the Inuit economy in the region including Inuit art.

Nadine also gave her paper, “Inuit Political Involvement in the Arctic,” that explores the relationship between Arctic foreign policy, territory, and customary law as found in the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The conference was hosted by the Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. “The conference serves the critical function of drawing together scholars and Inuit representatives to share research results in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, political governance, environmental sciences, health, education, and culture” (conference brochure).

The Inuit Studies Conference, founded at l’Université Laval, has been held biennially since 1978. This was the largest conference ever and the first to be held in the “lower 48.” There were about 550 attendees representing 16 countries and 40 states in the United States. An additional 1,000 individuals accessed the conference on-line.

Conference website:

The Inuit Studies Conference provided Nadine with a National Science Foundation travel grant to present her research at the conference.

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