Iqaluit, Nunavut, 23 January 2004
The Executive Council of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC)-Inuit leaders from Alaska, Canada, Chukotka (Russia), and Greenland-met in Iqaluit on January 21 and 22. Their agenda included social, cultural, economic, and environmental issues.
Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Chair of ICC, hosted a reception at Iqaluits Aeroplex building at which she officially opened ICCs head office. She thanked, in particular, the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated for their support to ICC in opening the office. She said: “Since 2002 I have operated the Office of the Chair out of my home office. It is good now to have a formal office in downtown Iqaluit.” She added: “International issues have an increasing impact on the lives of Inuit. It is vital that we are well organized to deal with them. This is why we have opened our downtown office here in Iqaluit.”
Ms. Watt-Cloutier announced that Ms. Miali Coley, President of the Inuit Circumpolar Youth Council (ICYC), has been appointed as her Executive Assistant, joining Mr. Paul Crowley, also of Iqaluit, as her part-time Legal Counsel.
The Executive Council discussed Ms. Watt-Cloutiers report of her activities at the December 2003 meeting in Milan of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “Many countries and non-governmental organizations are keenly interested in the connections ICC is drawing between global climate change and the human rights of Inuit,” she said.Natalia Rodionova, President of ICC Chukotka, reported extraordinary success on a Canadian-supported arts and crafts marketing project in Chukotka. This project connects artists and carvers in small Inuit communities in Chukotka with marketing agencies in western Europe.
The Executive Council passed a resolution merging the existing ICC commissions on language and communications in order to move these important issues forward in a more effective manner. ICC’s Chair will oversee the work of the merged commission. The Executive Council heard from Eva Aariak, Nunavuts language commissioner, about the need for greater efforts to promote Inuktitut regionally.
The President of ICC Alaska gave the Executive Council an initial briefing on plans to hold the next ICC General Assembly in Alaska in Summer 2006.
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For additional information contact:
Ms. Sheila Watt-Cloutier
Ms. Miali Coley