Skip to main content

Contextualizing International Relations in the Arctic: Science, Legal Frameworks & Indigenous Shaping of the Arctic Council

Originally posted: May 2013
2012-13 U.W. Fulbright Canada Visiting Chair* Lecture & Roundtable on the Arctic

Thursday, 30 May 2013
3:45 reception, 4:15-6:15 program
University (Faculty) Club, Conference Room, University of Washington Campus

Please email to reserve a seat. All registrants will receive a copy of the papers in advance of the event.

Resat Kasaba, Director, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
Denis Stevens, Consul General of Canada, Consulate General of Canada, Seattle

UW Polar Initiative
Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, Co-Chair, Arctic Academic Program
Eric Steig, Director, UW Quaternary Research Center, Co-Chair, Future of Ice Initiative

Science and Compliance in the Arctic: Explaining the Authority of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, by Sari Graben, 2012-13 UW Fulbright Canada Visiting Chair*, LL.B. LL.M. Ph.D.
Discussant: Vincent Gallucci, Chair, Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, College of Arts and Science; and, School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, College of the Environment

Arctic states are less concerned about sovereignty costs associated with submitting to the Commission because they are well equipped to provide the Commission with the technical data and scientific consensus needed to substantiate their submissions. The effect of adopting a predominantly technical approach to interpreting Article 76 has been to encourage Arctic States to submit to Commission authority, as it generates the possibility that States can convince the Commission that scientific consensus has been reached. Parties therefore use cooperative research, dissemination, and publication to bolster the veracity of their submissions to the Commission and head off alternative theories that could result in the rejection of their submissions. The effect for States that would otherwise be cautious about vesting too much authority in the Convention where the science is untested, is to incentivize the use of the Commission’s own discursive practices to achieve beneficial legal results.

Graben’s paper: Science & Arctic Compliance in the Arctic: A Regulatory Approach to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shift

Changing the Arctic Paradigm from Cold War to Co-operation: How Canada’s Indigenous Leaders Shaped the Arctic Council, by Tom Axworthy, President & CEO, Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, Toronto
Discussant: Tony Penikett, 2012-13 Visiting Scholar, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, College of Arts and Sciences; Mediator

This discussion is about a rarity in public policy – the successful implementation of a change strategy from 1987 to 1998 to create the Arctic Council, a new international forum. Through the Arctic Council the eight Arctic states came together with civil society to replace an Arctic Cold War framework of non-engagement and military competition with one of multi-polar co-operation through a collaborative agenda-setting forum. While the creation of the Arctic Council included robust Indigenous leadership, few North Americans, Russians or Scandinavians appreciate how long indigenous people have been players in the international arena or how conscious indigenous leaders have become of global questions.

This discussion will trace the history of Indigenous leadership in the Arctic Council, explain how an evolving governance framework impacts Indigenous involvement in international forums, and looks forward to evaluate what’s next for the Arctic Council.

Axworthy’s paper:
Penikett’s paper:

Presenter Biographies

Denis StevensDenis Stevens
, Consul General of Canada in Seattle, was appointed Consul General of Canada in Seattle by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in August 2010. He is Canada’s senior representative in the Pacific Northwest, which includes the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Mr. Stevens hails from Montreal. He has served with the Canadian government for 17 years, 10 of them in management positions in the departments of Justice; Indian and Northern Affairs; Public Safety and at the Privy Council Office, the department that serves the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

Immediately prior to his appointment, Mr. Stevens served as Director General for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Outreach at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Mr. Stevens earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations with great honors in 1988 from Harvard University. He earned his law degree and Masters of Business Administration from McGill University in 1992.

S GrabenDr. Graben has authored several articles on these topics which have been published in the University of Toronto Law Journal, Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Osgoode Hall Law Journal; and Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice.Sari Graben, LL.B. LL.M. Ph.D., currently serves as the US Canada Fulbright Visiting Research Chair at the University of Washington and a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellow of University of California, Berkeley Law. Her primary research interests are in the field of law and development, with a special focus on issues raised by collaborative governance. Drawing on theories of interpretation and regulatory process, her work analyzes the institutions supportive of economic development and the role of expertise in international and domestic regimes. Topics examined to date include, co-management, environmental assessment, impact benefit agreements, and international treaties.

vince gallucciVincent Gallucci is a professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; adjunct in the Jackson School and the School for Marine Affairs and is director of the Center for Quantitative Sciences in Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife and the Canadian Studies Center. His research focus is the management of fishery resources in developing countries and upon coldwater fisheries in the Bering/Arctic seas. He has experience in Russia and published in the Russian Fisheries Science literature. He will help develop the scientific/political aspects of the Russian Federation’s perspective in the Arctic debate. He has taught with a colleague a course on marine policy for over ten years. He serves on a Arctic Biodiversity Assessment team appointed by the Arctic Council helping represent diversity in both Arctic ecosystems and marine fishes. This will help establish a baseline for change that may occur due to global climatic or anthropomorphic factors.

AxworthyTom Axworthy has had a distinguished career in government, academia, and philanthropy. Early in his career, he served as Senior Policy Advisor and Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, before leaving politics to teach. In 1984, Dr. Axworthy went to Harvard University as a Fellow of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. He was subsequently appointed visiting Mackenzie King Chair of Canadian Studies. In 1999, Dr. Axworthy helped to create the Historica Foundation to improve teaching and learning of Canadian history, becoming its Executive Director until 2005. To recognize his achievements in heritage education (he initiated the Heritage Minutes), civics, and citizenship, Dr. Axworthy was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada (2002). In 2003, he became Chair of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, pursuing the themes of expanded human rights and responsibilities, democratic reform, Canadian-American relations, and modern liberalism that characterized his research, teaching and advocacy career. He is a distinguished senior fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and a senior fellow at Massey College. Dr. Axworthy was recently appointed Secretary General of the InterAction Council of Former Heads of State and Government.

Dr. Axworthy has had a long association with the Gordon family and the Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation prior to becoming its CEO in 2009. He began his career as a Research Assistant to Walter L. Gordon, then President of the Privy Council Office in the government of Lester Pearson. In the 1980s, Dr. Axworthy helped the second generation of the Gordon family define their interests, which included, for the first time, Canada’s North. In 1976 he helped organize the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, held in Vancouver, which initiated his interest in water and sanitation issues, a priority in his current work with the Gordon Foundation.

Dr. Axworthy has edited several publications, with the most recent being Bridging the Divide – Papers for the Interaction Council (June 2008). He was awarded an honorary LLD from Wilfrid Laurier University (2003) and the Public Affairs Association Award of Distinction on November 26th, 2008 by the Public Affairs Association of Canada.

PenikettAfter serving as Premier of the Yukon, Penikett acted as Senior Aboriginal Policy Advisor for the Premier of Saskatchewan (1995-97) and, Deputy Minister for Negotiations, and later Labour, for the Government of British Columbia (1997-2001).Tony Penikett, a Vancouver-based mediator, served in politics for 25 years including two years in Ottawa as Chief of Staff to federal New Democratic Party Leader Ed Broadbent MP; five terms in the Yukon Legislative Assembly; and two terms as Premier of Canada’s Yukon Territory (1985-92). His government negotiated final agreement for First Nation land claims in the territory and passed pioneering education, health, language legislation, as well as leading a much-admired bottom-up economic planning process.

Penikett is an Adjunct Professor for the Public Policy School at Simon Fraser University and for the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University. He also serves Senior Advisor for the Arctic Security Program, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto; and, for the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, Toronto. His recent work has taken him to the Eastern Arctic, Northern Europe, the Middle East and South America.

In 2006, Douglas & McIntyre published his book, Reconciliation: First Nations Treaty Making. His most recent articles include: “The Arctic Vacuum in Canada’s Foreign Policy” with Terry Fenge in Policy Options, April 2009; and, “A Literary Test for Indigenous Governments?,” in Northern Public Affairs, June 2012. Tony Penikett Negotiations Inc. provides mediation and negotiation services to Aboriginal, government, management and union clients.

Sponsored by the Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies; the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, Toronto; the Consulate General of Canada, Seattle; the UW Future of Ice Initiative; the Chapman Charitable Foundation; and the sponsors of the Fulbright Canada Chair including the UW Office of Global Affairs, the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, Social Sciences Division, College of Arts and Sciences, College of the Environment, and the Foundation for Educational Exchange Between Canada and the United States of America, Ottawa.

* The UW Fulbright Canada Chair is sponsored by the UW Office of Global Affairs; Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies; Social Sciences Division, College of Arts and Sciences; Graduate Fund for Excellence & Innovation, Graduate School; and, the Foundation for Educational Exchange Between Canada and the United States.