Media Centre

Arctic Council Chair Appointment

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Cathy Towtongie joined the Inuit Circumpolar Council today in welcoming news of Nunavut’s Member of Parliament, the Hon. Leona Aglukkaq’s appointment as chair of the Arctic Council. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the appointment during his visit to Cambridge Bay yesterday..

“This is good news. Minister Aglukkaq will play a critical role in building consensus among circumpolar countries, and enhancing Canada’s role in the Arctic Council,” said Towtongie.

Minister Aglukkaq’s role begins in May, 2013, when Canada assumes the chair of the international forum for a two-year period. The council collaborates on issues of pertinence to the Arctic, and includes Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden and the United States.

“I appreciate Minister Aglukkaq’s commitment to work with territorial governments, Canadian Indigenous permanent participants and other Arctic states to develop the Arctic Council program. This will give Canada the opportunity to guide the international agenda during a period of significant change and development. It will also give Minister Aglukkaq and Inuit the opportunity to balance our own choices in Canada with knowledge gained from understanding the social, cultural and financial realities of life in other circumpolar nations,” said Towtongie.