Ottawa, Canada – Inuit from Canada, Greenland, Alaska and Chukotka came together in Ottawa to discuss cultural sustainability, food security and conservation through use. The Summit resulted in a commitment to collaboratively and inclusively promote, sustain and strengthen Inuit cultural rights to food sovereignty. The Summit further called for a unified pan Arctic voice on Inuit rights to the sustainableuse of the Arctic’s living resources and a move toward circumpolar wildlife management without borders.
Duane Smith, Chair and CEO of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and Chair of the Inuit CircumpolarCouncil’s Wildlife Management Summit affirmed, “Rights to harvest the Arctic living resources are embedded in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Inuit rights are beingeroded by environmental change and public perceptions. Inuit are “One People” living in four countries withvery different political realities and experiences in exercising our harvesting rights and we are committed to support and learn from each other”.
Jim Stotts, President of ICC Alaska stated, “Inuit rights to our food is the core of our culture and values andthe foundation of Inuit food security. Our knowledge has guided the sound management and respect of our living resources for millennia and we will continue to do so. We have to get beyond talking about it andactually tackle the issue.”
Amalie Jessen, Head of Division, Ministry of Fisheries and Hunting offered, “Inuit must work together fromthe communities, state, regional, circumpolar and international levels to exert and strengthen Inuit huntingrights or Inuit will have no access to arctic living resources in the future.”
The Summit delivers on a pledge in the Kitigaaryuit Declaration from the 2014 ICC General Assembly which called for ICC to examine the influence policies (international, regional, national), environmental change, and public perceptions has on Arctic wildlife and the Inuit hunting culture.
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