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Circumpolar Inuit leader applauds appointment of Leona Aglukkaq as Arctic Council Chair

Ottawa, 23 August 2012 – The president of the Canadian chapter of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC Canada) is happy about the prime ministerial appointment of Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq as the next Chair of the Arctic Council.

Duane Smith said in Ottawa today, “ICC believes that this appointment means the Canadian government is serious about working more closely with Arctic residents, and this is good news especially for its indigenous peoples.”

Given ICC’s 16 years of experience inside the Council, Mr. Smith said that his organization would be ready to work closely with Minister Aglukkaq, “offering our perspectives and understanding of how best to get things done that matter for Inuit and all Canadians.”

Incidentally, for the first time in 12 years Canadian Inuit will have the opportunity and responsibility in 2014 of hosting the quadrennial ICC General Assembly during the 2- year period of Ms. Agukkaq’s appointment. Along with that comes the hosting of ICC’s Office of the Chair for a period of 4 years. “This overlap is not only fortunate, but bodes well for Canada taking an even greater leadership role inside the Council and within the growing global interest in the Arctic as a whole”.

The Inuit Circumpolar Council represents Inuit from Russia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland on matters of international importance and fosters and celebrates the unity of Inuit. ICC Canada serves Canadian Inuit as their voice on international matters.

For more information:

Carole Simon
+1 613 563 2642csimon@inuitcircumpolar.com

The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) is an Indigenous Peoples’ Organization (IPO), founded in 1977 to promote and celebrate the unity of 180,000 Inuit from Alaska (USA), Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka (Russia). ICC works to promote Inuit rights, safeguard the Arctic environment, and protect and promote the Inuit way of life. In regard to climate change, we believe that it is crucial for world leaders and governments to recognize, respect and fully implement the human rights of Inuit and all other Indigenous peoples across the globe.