International Policy Institute

Arctic Initiative

The Arctic is an emerging region and important new player in global geopolitics. The impacts of climate change are opening the Arctic Ocean to international shipping while the melting of sea ice is increasing access to oil, gas and other valuable resources. Governments from Arctic and non-Arctic nation-states, transnational corporations, indigenous peoples, and environmental justice organizations are increasingly invested in the region’s future. Many of these entities and organizations have roots in the Pacific Northwest.

The Jackson School’s International Policy Institute will analyze these trends, with a focus on indigenous politics and the workings of the Arctic Council. The Council has drawn the attention of the world and now counts China and India as its Observer members. It is the first international body developed in collaboration with indigenous peoples and where indigenous organizations serve on almost equal par with nation-states. In 2016 the Arctic Council will celebrate its 20th anniversary during the 2015-2017 U.S. chairmanship of the Council. During this critical time, the International Policy Institute will analyze the role and future of the Arctic Council in global geopolitics including the mandated integration of indigenous knowledge into Council work, the new Arctic Economic Council, and the role of Asian countries.

For more Arctic studies visit: The Future of Ice and Jackson School Arctic and International Relations

Feature Series

Arctic Foreign Policy Field Experience

International Policy Institute Fellows in the field

  • Arctic Foreign Policy field experience group
  • Representatives from the Permanent Participants at the launch of the Álgu Fund at the Arctic Council’s Ministerial Meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, May 10, 2017.
  • Gwen Holdmann, Alaska Center for Energy and Power, discusses how Alaska is pioneering new microgrid energy solutions that it hopes to export to other regions around the globe.
  • North by North
  • Brian Berube of the Alaska Native Rural Veterinary Incorporation
  • Local leaders gather at the Arctic Mayors’ Roundtable in Fairbanks.
  • Indigenous Knowledge Roundtable
  • Representatives from the Arctic Council Working Groups and Task Forces share some of the highlights from their departments during the US Chairmanship.
  • Protester at the Defend the Sacred march, Fairbanks, Alaska.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson poses for a photo with the Pan-Arctic Indigenous Permanent Participant Heads of Delegation to the Arctic Council
  • Renee Sauve, the chair of the Arctic Council's Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME)
  • Gwen Holdmann, Director, Alaska Center for Energy and Power
  • University of Alaska Anchorage student Christina Hoy
  • #DefendTheSacred Climate Justice rally in Downtown Fairbanks, outside of Morris Thompson Cultural Center
  • IPI Fellows at the Arctic Conference

Arctic Faculty

Arctic Fellows