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Understanding Indigenous Influence in International Relations

#1 2017 Indigenous Influence in Intl Relations
Paul Okalik served as the first premier of Nunavut, the Inuit territory in Canada. He is interviewed by Katie Gavenus, School of Education (left) and Malina Dumas, School of Law. Both Katie and Malina are Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellows for Inuktitut, a fellowship provided by the Canadian Studies Center. Both begin their second year of language study this fall.

October 12, 2017

The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, International Policy Institute (IPI) Arctic Fellows interviewed representatives from Indigenous organizations in Canada, Russia, and Greenland at the Indigenous Influence in Arctic Affairs symposium held at the University of Washington, June 2, 2017. The participants discussed the growing influence of Indigenous peoples in Arctic policy development and what this means for international relations more broadly.

Special guests included the first premier of Nunavut, Canada, Paul Okalik; the former legal counsel for the president of the Makivik Corporation representing the Inuit in Nunavik, Northern Québec; the first Greenlandic representative to Canada and the United States; and a Russian Indigenous activist. Joint activities between the Aleut International Association and the Government of Korea as well as the role of Sámi identity in governance were also discussed.

Four of the IPI Arctic Fellows, also Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellows (FLAS) with the Canadian Studies Center, used their language skills in French and Inuktitut (the Inuit language) in the interviews. IPI and FLAS Fellow with the Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies conducted the entire interview with Pavel Sulyandziga, Russian Indigenous activist, in Russian.

The symposium is part of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies Arctic and International Relations initiative. The initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centers in the Jackson School. These include the Canadian Studies Center, the Center for Global Studies, the Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, the Center for West European Studies, and the East Asia Center; the Jackson School’s International Policy Institute (funded by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York); the University of Washington’s Future of Ice initiative; and the Global Business Center in the Michael G. Foster School of Business. The Canadian Studies Center is home for the initiative.

For a copy of the program click here. To view the live interviews and read the background articles written by the IPI Arctic Fellows, visit the Arctic and International Relations Video Series site here. View the pre-symposium reception and symposium photo album here.