Inuit Circumpolar Council

Inuit Circumpolar Council

The Inuit Circumpolar Conference or Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), is a multinational non-governmental organization (NGO) representing the 150,000 Inuit (often referred to as Eskimo) people living in the United States, Canada, Greenland, and Russia. The Conference first met in June 1977, and holds a General Assembly every four years.


The Inuit population includes the following groups and regions:
*Canada: Nunavut, the Inuvialuit (Northwest Territories), Nunavik (Northern Quebec), and Nunatsiavut (Labrador)
*United States (Alaska): the Inupiat and Yupik
*Greenland: the Kalaallit
*Russia (Chukchi Peninsula): the Siberian Yupik

All of these peoples are sometimes collectively referred to be the exonym Eskimo, the use of which is frowned upon by many of the Inuit, especially in eastern Canada. ICC uses the term "Inuit" to refer to them all, which has its own problems. One of those problems is administrative. Is an Inuk in the United States considered "Native Americans," or "Alaskan Natives?" Or, are they to be considered "Aboriginal American," "Other," or simply not considered at all? The Yupik of both Alaska and Russia generally dislike being called "Inuit," which is not a word in the Yupik language nor a word which they use to describe themselves, and prefer "Yupik" but will tolerate "Eskimo." [ [ Inuit or Eskimo: Which names to use?] ]

tructure and functions

The main goals of the organization are to strengthen unity among Inuit, to promote their rights and interests, and to ensure the development of Inuit culture.

Structurally, the organization is made up of four separate offices in each of the four Inuit nations, chartered individually under their national rules. The Presidents of ICC Russia, ICC Alaska, ICC Canada, and ICC Greenland, along with one Executive Council Member elected from each of the nations, make up the eight-member ICC Executive Council. The Executive Council is presided over by an International Chair (formerly international president - the title was changed in 2002).

ICC holds a General Assembly every four years, bringing together Inuit from across the northern circumpolar region to discuss issues of international importance to their communities, provide direction for the work of the organization over the next four years, and divide responsibility for issue areas between the national offices. Assembly delegates appoint an international Chair from the General Assembly host-country, along with the members of Executive Council, and develop policies and resolutions for the coming term.

The General Assembly, and thus the international Chair position, rotates between the four Inuit nations quadrennially at the General Assemblies. At the 2002 General Assembly in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, Canada, the Chair passed from Greenland, where it had been held for the previous seven years by Aqqaluk Lynge, now a member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, to Canada, where Sheila Watt-Cloutier, formerly the President of ICC Canada, took the position.

In 2006, the Chair passed to ICC Alaska at the General Assembly in Barrow, and is currently occupied by Patricia L. Cochran, formerly Executive Director of the Alaska Native Science Commission. At that Assembly, ICC also voted to change its name to Inuit Circumpolar Council as there has been perennial confusion over an organizational name that sounds more like a past meeting.

The Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Youth Council (2006-2010) is Megan Alvanna-Stimpfle.

ee also

*Arctic Council


External links

* [ Inuit Circumpolar Conference, Alaska]
* [ Inuit Circumpolar Council, Canada]
* [ Inuit Circumpolar Council, Greenland]
* [ Inuit Circumpolar Council, Russia]
* [ ICC official website]

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