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Arctic Sovereignty case study

Page history last edited by Banned User 10 years, 5 months ago

 Morning session: What are Canada's interests in teh Arctic? How do we facilitate and protect these interests? 



-Online participants from Calgary and Scotland. 

-Daniel Savas and Peter Wheatley (hosts) acknowledge the Foreign Policy Camp        


-Peter Wheatley discussing agenda, suggests "World Cafe Format"

-Daniel Savas born in Yellowknife, acknowledges his connection to "the north"

     -Daniel considers the experts to be those who live in "the north"

     -morning session talking about Canada's place in the Artic, from a historical and policy perspective

     -what is Canada's foreign policy direction towards the Arctic? 


Daniel introduces


-Whitney Lackenbauer


-Michael Byers


     -asks, "Who Owns the Arctic" in his book


-Frank Tester

     -academic background in Inuit history

     -co-author of "Tammarniit", "Kiumajut (Talking Back)"


-John Nightingale, President of Vancouver Aquarium

     -"Canada's Arctic is changing by the minute"


-Tony Penikett, author, a former Premier of the Yukon


-virtually, Mary May Simon

     -says thank you for the invitation to participate

     -"all Canadians need to pay attention to the new reality of the Arctic." 

     -was actively involved in promoting a "Northern" agenda for Canada

     -"clock is ticking on climate change"



     -noticed during his visit that King Charles said we are "living in last chance saloon"     

     -"all countries must commit to slowing down.. carbon emissions that will push a carbon measures too high" 

     -Russia, Us, Denmark and EU are all part of "the mix" 

     -"not that long ago the conversation was about natural resources", "frozen treasure chest", but there is a difference between those days and            today

     -the rights of Indigenous people

     -Aboriginal people must be on the inside, not on the outside looking in

     -the foundation on all decision making is appropriate information

     -Canada's importance > an enlightened and open minded leadership role  

     -the government of Canada policy making must be focused around a partnership with the Inuit 

          -should act in concert with the House of Commons and the global community on the 2007 UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous people


Heather Exner, University of Calgary PHd Student

     -says "Thank you"

     -sees Canada Foreign Policy hasn't been that great

     -Arctic has increasing importance, economically, politically etc. 

     -one thing to bring leadership to this idea, --> a formal regime that governs Arctic, such as what they have done in the Caribbean

          -would bring environmental protection and establish change

          -why haven't we had a regional peace agreement? 


-virtual participants have been disconnected

-introductions of people in the room


"Our newest exhibit: Canada's Arctic"- Vancouver Aquarium, John Nightingale

-ecological definition of the Arctic makes it half of the country

     -this will shift with climate changed

-wanted to bring back some of the Arctic animals

-recognizes the difficulty of the taking eco-tours of people to the arctic

     -so his idea was to bring an Arctic animal exhibit to the Vancouver Aquarium

-Arctic cod, important player in Arctic eco system, it "drives" the ecosystem 

     -melting ice     

(photos of Arctic excursions)

-mentions Nunavut cruises

-resource utilization

     -1/2 million belugas killed per year (John recognizes this number as too HIGH)

-Resolute, "a synthetic community", inactive until the Canadian government virtually created it

-"Cornwallis Island" (sp?)

-Pond Inlet, 1500 people

     -terrific high school English teacher has sent students' submissions to the Vancouver Aquarium

-the Arctic is changing.

     -asked local people if they noticed climate change?

          -YES! - "all the rivers are falling in", (bank slump)

           -an obvious change in glacier structure

-changing density of glaciers 

          -claims that there are now half as many research projects than just 15 years ago

-how can the Aquarium build a national interest in the Arctic? 

-people hunt, fish, gather food off of the land

-a prescribed upbringing of children , "one foot in tradition" 

     -the Inuit struggling with the crossover, (many issues which are money driven)

-"a sense of timelessness" to the Arctic 

-took a group to Antarctica this summer, 

     -has a better governance structure that the Arctic 

     -22 conventions on krill management, mining (banned), 

          -without prejudice to the land claims

-wonders how this came about

     -Eisenhower pushed the treaty in 1959, (partially because Russia didn't object)


Whitney Lackenbauer

"Canada's Foreign Policy .." (see Power Point Presentation)

-Historian by training 

-Historical overview > "Polar Saga or Polar race?"

-The "use it or lose it?" <-- claims to be absurd

-"Alarmism", people are in fear 

-Bilateral relationships with the US

-"Polar Sea voyage" 1985

-Scenario-based planning

     -Arctic Race

     -Arctic Saga

     -Polar Lows

     -Polar Preserve 

-The 1990's: Towards an "Arctic Saga"

     -Focus on Multi lateral institutions 

-Year 2000, Canadian Foreign Policy, different focus, on "human security"

-21st Century Strategic Issues: "The Perfect Storm"

     -End of the Cold War: from controlled military area

-Hans Island as a non issues

-Canada-US Boundary Dispute Beaufort Sea,

     -no exploration or development until issue is settled

-A Race for resources?


          -well within national boundaries 

          -basic science hasn't even been established 

 -Conservative government proposed a "Northern Strategy"

-Harper, 2007, change in the Arctic as a way for military investment


     -collaborative process

-Lawrence Cannon, says soft talk is not the image we want to project to Canadians 

-The Achilles' Heel

     -Northern Engagement, ensuring that Northerners are the beneficiaries 

-From "Crisis" to Sustained Action?

     -A History of vacillating interest in the North

-Disconnect between Southerners 

-"Sovereignty is something we have that doesn't need to be defended 

-The real issue is climate change, Arctic needs adaptation strategies

         -" a modest tweaking is not enough", (To Mr. Stephen Harper)




Northerners Should Drive Northern Development


Climate Change


North West Passage/

(Economic Development)



Treaty Governance Structure



-Discussion over what is meant by security

     -"Human", "Food"? 

-Can we strengthen our (Canadian) sovereignty? 

-"Devolution" of provincial powers

 -Improving quality of governments    

     -all 4 Inuit groups have treaties

     -Federal Government not following treaties by excluding Inuit 

-Inuit frustration

-Not just a question of handing over powers to people

     -But of people being able to exercise governments 

Why is it that the Aboriginals don't have the right to manage their own land? 

     -The example of a population being subjected to a literacy text in order to vote

-Arctic foreign policy goes beyond the Arctic and extends to global foreign policy 

     -Copenhagen 09 

-Obama's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize partially because of resetting relationship between Russia and NATO

-Debate of where and if Canada's economy should be involved

     -Difference between expenditures and expenses

-Canadian government has made the Inuit part of land claims agreement (Michael Byers)

 -Creative leadership is necessary (Whitney Lackenbauer)

     -an opportunity to invest in sustainable development

-Michael Byers adds that more than having an opportunity to lead, we have the responsibility and we are in the perfect position

-Canada ignored Inuit credibility and land claims until the early 1980's (Frank Tester)

-"Ecological Stability", a discussion of the probable climatic changes in the future






Afternoon Session:

What should we Do?

-Arctic council (chairing 2013)

-Connect local, regional, national and international regimes / interests..buttom up development

Questions raised by the facilitators:

1. If Canada could do one thing to show leadership in the Arctic, what would you see it doing?

2. Can/Shoudl we act unilaerally, bilaterally, multilaterally? on what issue?

3.If Canada could do one thing to show leadership in the Arctic, what would you see it doing?


Group dialogue:

-Somebody found a subject on a phony issue and posted on Globe and Mail. It is not any investigative journalism on reporting back on Arctic. I don't think Russia is a friend of the indiginous people. To talk about the indigenous people in Canada we need to talk to local people like when we talk to the assembly of First Nations.


-the minister Kannon talked about re-energizing the Artic. We cannot talk about sensitive issues indigenous issues like this..

-The ability to influence the Artic in terms of economic legitimacy.

-There is a long history of Artic indigenous soverignty. Inuits want to have control over their land and, ocean, economy and resources. What do the indigenous people in Canada, Alaska and Green Land want is to run their own government.

-There is a lack of an invenstigative journalism. The report on Inuit social issues and soverigty should be be on front page. 

-If we did not have the border issue and soverignty issue in the Arctic, we should not have had this discussion. We should talk about real issues  now rather than to talk to dealy it and talk about easy stuff. 

-What Canadians have in mind about Arctic is that Canada is in violation of UN declaration with respect to how they treat aboriginal people. 

-I used to work on Macedonia when I used to live in the US, people and people on the fairy tale. I used to work for the Amnesty on violence against women. Now I am in Canada. There is something that is beyond people living in Arctic. If you frame your discussion on a topic like violence against women or health or some kind of issue you can work better. 


break from 3:00 to 3:15 pm.

Questions raised by the facilitators:

In 2030 Where will we BE? Where do we want to BE? How will we get there?

Group discussion based on question: In 2030 Where will we BE? 

-nothing--->doesn't matter--->uncertainty

-UNCLOS - assessment oil and gas

-climate will be thing of the past

-increase 6 degree celcius,

-new potential

-nobody left or new opportunities

-the pular bear will not be in a good shape


In terms of population, people will live longer

-optimistic: there will be enough momentum, gas development, we will be preserving more.

-community will be better educated and healthier

-inter-societal conflict will increase

-over saturated tourism, social, political upheaval

-new potential structures, free trade zones, indigenous leadershiip

-nobody left or new ways of life, new opportunities

-indigenous issues addressed (hopefully)

-dominated by other states

In 2030 Want to BE?

-climate change minimized and adopted to other

-peaceful accoring with other intersts 

-healthy indigenous communities

-w powers euivalent to southern canadians

-land claims/devolution realized

strong internatinal partnerships between indigenous peoples and others

-100's of indigenous peoples education, 100 percent more back in their communities

-want to see hundreds of First Nation peoples to graduate in sciences and technology to be involved in climate -change isses for their own communities.

-de-mystify Arctic

-incrase in high school graduation rate

-different forms of Arctic government,

-sustainable agreement between scientists and indigenous peoples on how to preserve pular bear,

-to see the UN laws applied in ARCTIC

-Alberta for carbonation of violations of human rights

-dealt with uncertainty

-Canada as the real leader in Arctic and globally. We have the opportunity to do a change in the world and in the Arctic.

Canada is able to lead the world and the Arctic


In 2030 How?

-develop good media, metaphors

-Arctic is our front yard,

-loclizing some of these issues, educatinal exchanges, peace core,

-people take the ownership not the governments, have people to take leadership

-make the human rights discouse local, global, inter 

-empower the Arctic population


-quality education for people in the Arctic 

-easy access on informatin on Arctic




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