CARC organized a pivotal conference in 2009 that brought together leaders from across the north and south to map out how the Canadian Arctic and its people would move toward the future.
There major themes were developed and CARC’s plans and priorities will be framed by these themes:
Cooperation and collaboration should be the basis for planning in the North, based on partnerships between Aboriginal peoples, governments, labour, NGOs, and other organizations across the North. Canada’s claim to the North is through the people who live there and we must strengthen the bonds that hold us, as Arctic peoples, together, Northerners want a place in international discussions to ensure that their interests are recognized and promoted.
Climate change is not just an environmental phenomenon; it is a human rights issue that increasingly affects Northern peoples in their homeland. Planners, legislators and policy-makers must move immediately beyond technical and science-based concerns to address the real and growing impacts of climate change.
Canada should take immediate action to implement the letter and spirit of our land claims agreements. They set out co-management models that are more equitable and effective than southern-based consultation approaches; they also promote the four priorities of the federal government’s Arctic Policy, and, in particular, its sovereignty claims.
Canada must invest in economically sound and culturally appropriate education and training for northerners, building capacity in the North to both inform and lead research, agenda-setting and policy development.
Canada must establish a northern science policy to direct and enhance our acquisition, retention and use of knowledge. Such a policy must move beyond providing funding within narrow geographic or sectoral windows, and enable real transfer and sharing of knowledge between researchers, communities and policy makers. Canada must bridge the science/policy gap, bringing northern and southern researchers and policy makers together early and often and fostering a climate of coordination, collaboration, and mutual respect. Recommendations for scientific research must increasingly come from communities and territorial governments, rather than from scientists and the federal government.
The following are session papers from the conference:
Opening remarks by Mary Simon
Keynote Speaker Sheila Watt-Cloutier
In the grip of climate change – Rob Huebert
The pace of change – Oran R. Young
Land claims agreements and the north to 2030 – John Donihee
A northern science policy for Canada – David Hik
Towards a Canadian Arctic Strategy – Franklyn Griffiths