Rising Above the Rhetoric: Northern Voices and the Strengthening of Canada's Capacity to Maintain a Stable Circumpolar World


  • Peter Kikkert University of Western Ontario


The political discourse in the Arctic has been heating up as states, including Canada, use strongly nationalistic rhetoric to handle the complex issues that confront the region. This contrasts with the priorities of Canada's territorial governments and northern Indigenous groups like the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Arctic Athabaskan Council, and Gwich'in Council International, which have consistently emphasized that Canada should constructively engage its Arctic neighbours to build a more stable and co-operative region. Critics have also suggested that the sense of alarmism in Canada about the Arctic has led to the marginalization of the northern voice in the framing of Canada's domestic and foreign policy for the region. Based largely on interviews with key stakeholders, this article examines northerners' perspectives on how the Arctic Council might be enhanced to better serve the Circumpolar World of the twenty-first century, and how northerners can be better engaged in priority- and agenda-setting on the domestic level.

Author Biography

Peter Kikkert, University of Western Ontario

Peter Kikkert is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Western Ontario.






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