UArctic 10 Year Council Opening

UArctic Celebrates 10 Years

Wed, Jun 08, 2011
On June 8, 2011, the Council of the University of the Arctic (UArctic) celebrated the tenth anniversary of its launch, which was held in the same city in 2001. The occasion was being marked by a special seminar organized at the University of Lapland on the theme of Green Growth and the Arctic.
The occasion was marked by a special seminar organized at the University of Lapland on the theme of Green Growth and the Arctic, with keynote speeches from Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (President of Iceland), Hannele Pokka (Permanent Secretary of Finland’s Ministry of the Environment), Gustaf Lind (Sweden’s Arctic Ambassador), and J. Okalik Eegeesiak (President of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association). The seminar discussions examined the question of whether a ‘Green Growth’ opportunity exists for the Arctic, or whether the destiny of the North is to remain an area of resource extraction.

The 10 year celebrations culminated in the evening of June 8, 2011 with a gala dinner hosted by the University of Lapland honouring the achievements of the University of the Arctic, its programs and its members. These celebrations were organized as part of the University of the Arctic’s 14th Council meeting, held June 6-10, 2011, hosted by the Lapland University Consortium in cooperation with the Sami Education Institute. The meetings took place in Tornio and Rovaniemi, with a follow-up meeting being held in Inari.

The Council meeting is the annual general assembly of the UArctic network, bringing together over one hundred representatives of universities, colleges, and other organizations that are committed to higher education and research in the North. During the meeting, the Council took key decisions about the University of the Arctic’s future development, including welcoming of additional institutions and organizations as Council members, which for the first time include ‘associate members’ from outside the region. The meeting also saw the creation of a new program for 'UArctic Honorary Chairs' and the addition of new Thematic Networks.

The Chair of the Council, Jim McDonald of the University of Northern British Columbia remarks, “It is only appropriate that the University of the Arctic returns to Rovaniemi to mark the first decade of its remarkable growth and development. Lapland has been the crucible for many important circumpolar processes. It should be noted that UArctic’s tenth anniversary coincides – not coincidentally – with the twentieth anniversary of the Rovaniemi process that began in 1991 with the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy, which led to the establishment of the Arctic Council. The decisions taken here pave the way for our organization’s next ten years.”

Photos and other memories from the Council meeting, the Green Growth and the Arctic Seminar, and the Gala celebrations will be posted at