Iqaluit February 8, 2001

Ms. Sheila Watt-Cloutier, President of ICC Canada announced today that a cheque for $21,000 is to be sent to the North Slope Borough in Alaska for use in the Borough’s ongoing humanitarian assistance programme to Inuit in the Chukotka region of the Russian Far East. These funds were contributed by Inuit across northern Canada. The Government of the Northwest Territories also provided a donation.  Ms Watt-Cloutier thanked all Inuit who contributed.

The money will be used by the North Slope Borough to purchase hunting, fishing, and trapping equipment to be delivered to Inuit communities in Chukotka. The NSB has been providing such aid for over 10 years.

In 1999 ICC Canada and the Canadian Red Cross Society mounted a very successful humanitarian assistance mission to four Inuit communities in Chukotka. Ms. Watt-Cloutier said: “Inuit in Chukotka greatly welcomed our deliveries of food, but they said they really need hunting equipment to get food for their families. They are struggling to stand on their own two feet, and our contribution to the NSB will help them to do so.”

ICC Canada is now engaged with the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) to implement a multi-million dollar, multi-year programme to train indigenous peoples in the Russian Arctic to promote economic development. Funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), this programme will help to replace short-term humanitarian assistance.

For further information contact:

Ms. Irina Appa
Russia Project Administrator
Inuit Circumpolar Conference Canada