Arctic Council

The Arctic Council, established in 1996, is the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation in the Arctic among the Arctic States, Arctic Indigenous Peoples and other Arctic inhabitants. The category of Permanent Participants (PP) is a unique feature of the Arctic Council. Six organizations that represent Arctic Indigenous Peoples are designated as Permanent Participants and these include: the Arctic Athabaskan Council, the Aleut International Association, the Gwich’in Council International, the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) and the Saami Council. The category of PP was declared in the Ottawa Declaration (1996) “On the Establishment of the Arctic Council” and was created to provide a means for active participation and full consultation of the Arctic Indigenous Peoples within the Arctic Council, and to ensure participation in all levels of the Arctic Council, including co-leading projects that affect Arctic inhabitants, and contributing to the Arctic Council's expert work and political proceedings.

To facilitate Permanent Participants’ work in Arctic cooperation, the Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat was established in 1994 under the auspices of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS), which was the forerunner to the Arctic Council. The Secretariat is an institution recognized in the Ottawa Declaration and its role has been to facilitate PPs’ active participation and full consultation in the Council.           

Indigenous Peoples’ Traditional Knowledge holds significant value in the Arctic Council. The Ottawa Declaration recognized “the traditional knowledge of the [I]ndigenous [P]eoples of the Arctic and their communities” and took note “of its importance and that of Arctic science and research to the collective understanding of the circumpolar Arctic.” The Permanent Participants jointly created the Ottawa Traditional Knowledge Principles (2015) to provide guidance in the use of the Traditional Knowledge of Indigenous Peoples.

Tags: Global governance

The Indigenous World 2022: Arctic Council

Disclaimer: From 3 March 2022 the Arctic Council has been pausing all official meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies until further notice. The pause is in effect at the time of publication of this article in April 2022.

The Arctic Council, established in 1996, is the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation in the Arctic among the Arctic States, Arctic Indigenous Peoples and other Arctic inhabitants. The category of Permanent Participants (PP) is a unique feature of the Arctic Council. Six organizations that represent Arctic Indigenous Peoples are designated as Permanent Participants and these include: the Arctic Athabaskan Council, the Aleut International Association, the Gwich’in Council International, the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) and the Saami Council. The category of PP was declared in the Ottawa Declaration (1996) “On the Establishment of the Arctic Council” and was created to provide a means for active participation and full consultation of the Arctic Indigenous Peoples within the Arctic Council, and to ensure participation in all levels of the Arctic Council, including co-leading projects that affect Arctic inhabitants, and contributing to the Arctic Council's expert work and political proceedings.

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The Indigenous World 2021: Arctic Council

The Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum for promoting cooperation in the Arctic. The Arctic Council is unique in that, in addition to eight Arctic States, six Arctic Indigenous Peoples’ organizations are granted Permanent Participant status and are institutionally important participants in the Council. Permanent Participants represent the Arctic Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic Council and participate at all levels of the Arctic Council’s work.

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