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.