Ellen Ahlness

PhD, Political Science, Inuktitut


I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science. My research looks at Indigenous–state relations and Arctic environmental politics. My current work looks at the use of sovereignty rhetoric among Indigenous nations in the Arctic Council. The Arctic region is undergoing tremendous changes. To understand the consequences of these changes on states and Indigenous peoples, it is important for scholars to familiarize themselves with its key players. My background in Scandinavian studies and international relations has led to my current connection with the Canadian Studies Center to develop a strong and comprehensive foundation for understanding circumpolar events, as well as North American and Indigenous interests in the Arctic.

Outside of academia, I have spent time as an intern with the U.S. Department of State in the Office of International Security Operations. In the face of climate changes and environmental degradation, security is increasingly understood in terms of human and environmental security. With my aspiration to become a professor, my Canadian studies will further my ability to conduct fieldwork in Canada, Greenland and the United States, as well as to teach interdisciplinary courses on Arctic affairs. To date, my work has appeared or is under review in the American Review of Canadian Studies, Polar Record, Arctic Yearbook, and The Cross Section, and as a chapter in the forthcoming book Managing Multicultural ScandinaviaMore of my work can be found on by website at ellenahlness.com.