"I became involved with the Arctic Council through my work for the Arctic Athabaskan Council," explained Urquhart. "I had previous knowledge of the Arctic Council through working for UArctic, but no practical experience with the organization. The Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC) is a permanent participant of the Arctic Council. The Arctic Council is made up of eight nations with arctic territories (Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Iceland, Canada, and the US) and six permanent participants (groups that represent indigenous peoples across the circumpolar world)."
The Canadian Advisory Committee to the Arctic Council recently decided to include youth representatives in the Canadian delegation, and Urquhart was recommended by the AAC. After being interviewed, he was chosen to be one of the first youth delegates for the Arctic Council.
As a youth delegate, Urquhart will attend Canadian Arctic Council Advisory Committee meetings (ACAC), to bring youth concerns to the table, and disseminate information from the Arctic Council to youth in Canada.
26-year-old Urquhart was born in the small city of Whitehorse, capital of Canada’s Yukon Territory. After graduating from high school, he went on to study history and philosophy at Queen’s University.
Urquhart then took part in the IISD Circumpolar Young Leaders Program, working as an intern at the UArctic’s International Secretariat in Rovaniemi, Finland. While working at UArctic, Urquhart continued his education, as an online student with Bodo University, completing the certificate program in Circumpolar Studies.
Through his work with UArctic, Urquhart learned about the Arctic Council, as well as many other organizations working in the Circumpolar North. His internship propelled him into further work in the north when he returned to Canada, and began the MA program in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia.
"The first thing UArctic did for me was connect me with the Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC). This has unequivocally affected the trajectory of my life. The experience and training in project development through UArctic gave me a step up on my MA and other projects with the AAC," said Urquhart.
But, more than just acquainting him with northern organizations, Urquhart said his job at UArctic put him at ease with working in the north.
"I think more than anything, UArctic made me more comfortable in high-level politics in the North. Understanding how decisions are made is very important in feeling like one has a grasp on change in the North," said Urquhart.
When asked about the best part of his new job, Urquhart answered decisively: "Seeing things done." He explained that it feels good to be part of an organization that has visible results.
"I am excited
Former UArctic Intern becomes Youth Delegate for Arctic Council
Mon, Feb 16, 2009
An internship with the University of the Arctic helped northerner Robin Urquhart become one of the first youth delegates for the Arctic Council.