Nadine with students from Sakha State University in Yakutsk, Siberia at the University of the Arctic meeting in June 2010.
Nadine Fabbi was awarded a Leadership Award from the Education Leadership and Policy Studies program at the University of British Columbia to support her research on political activism occurring in the Arctic with a focus on the role of Canada’s Inuit and Arctic higher education.
Arctic Aboriginal peoples are engaged in Arctic foreign policy and educational policy at the international level for the first time in history. They have claimed Permanent Participant status on the Arctic Council, a high-level intergovernmental body formed in 1996. This status provides Arctic peoples with a legitimate voice in resolving transnational issues almost on par with nation-states. In 2001 the Council endorsed University of the Arctic (UArctic), an international network of mostly Arctic institutions created in part to provide policy-relevant research to the Council. The UArctic mission is to provide education in, for and by northerners and claims to have a strong Aboriginal epistemological foundation. What is occurring in terms of the political mobilization of Arctic Aboriginal peoples has the potential to impact foreign policy and higher education in innovative ways.
The Inuit are one of eight Arctic Aboriginal peoples who are playing a key role in Circumpolar governance via the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (Canada’s national Inuit association), the Inuit Circumpolar Council (international Inuit association), the Arctic Council and UArctic. Recently the Inuit have redrawn the map of Canada, renamed the Arctic region, and established an international Inuit sovereignty declaration. Nadine’s research addresses these effective political strategies and asks what the impact of policy and spatial/territorial activism will have on Arctic foreign and educational policy in the future.