Photo: From left: Krister Stoor, UArctic Indigenous Issues Committee chair; chief Gary Harrison, AAC; Jim Stotts, ICC; Lorraine Netro, GCI; Åsa Larsson Blind, SC; Lars Kullerud, President UArctic; Rodion Sulyandziga, RAIPON; Jim Gamble, AIA; Jan Henry Keskitalo, VP Indigenous UArctic. (photo: Stina Roos, UArctic)

Already, in the feasibility study phase of UArctic the (then) three indigenous peoples permanent participant organizations drafted a statement of support and a challenge to the new organization entitled, “With Shared Voices”.

Jan Henry Keskitalo, UArctic’s Vice-President Indigenous, has been working to reinvigorate this relationship by increasing communication and cooperation between UArctic and the permanent participants in the Arctic Council. This Memorandum of Understanding reflects that work, and our common commitment to work together to ensure indigenous issues and perspectives are reflected in all our activities.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the parties during the Senior Arctic Officials meeting of the Arctic Council in Stockholm, Sweden on March 28, 2012. Attending the signing ceremony will be UArctic president Lars Kullerud, representatives of the permanent participants, and some invited guests.

UArctic PPO MoU Signing3This agreement brings UArctic another step towards increased cooperation with indigenous peoples as formulated in the UArctic Strategy 2008-2013. The cooperation between UArctic and the permanent participants will help to ensure that higher education in the North meets the needs of the region’s indigenous peoples, as well as reflecting the significant contribution of indigenous knowledge systems.

The University of the Arctic is a cooperative network of over 130 universities, colleges, and other organizations committed to higher education and research in the North. Our members share resources, facilities, and expertise to build post-secondary education programs that are relevant and accessible to northern students. Our overall goal is to create a strong, sustainable circumpolar region by empowering northerners and northern communities through education and shared knowledge.

For more information:
Jan Henry Keskitalo
Vice-President Indigenous, University of the Arctic
+47 78 44 84 70