The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ІСС) is an international Indigenous Peoples’ Organization representing approximately 160.000 Inuit living in the Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Chukotka, Russia.

ICC was established in 1980 and in 1983 granted NGO status Category II by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The principal goals of ІСС are:

  • To strengthen unity among Inuit of the Circumpolar region
  • To promote Inuit rights and interests on the international level
  • To ensure and further develop Inuit culture and society for both the present and future generations
  • To seek full and active participation in the political, economic, and social development in our homelands
  • To develop and encourage long-term policies which safeguard the Arctic environment
  • To work for international recognition of the human rights of all Indigenous Peoples


The composition of the ICC Executive Council in 2010-2014 is as follows:

ICC Head Office

  • Aqqaluk Lynge (from Greenland), ICC Chair

ICC Canada –

    • Duane Smith, ICC Canada President and ICC Vice-Chair
    • Kirt Ejesiak, ICC Executive Council Member

ICC Greenland -

  • Carl Christian Olsen (Puju), ICC Greenland President
  • Hjalmar Dahl, ICC Executive Council Member and ICC Greenland Vice-President

ICC Alaska -

  • James Stotts, ICC Alaska President and ICC Vice-Chair
  • Vera Metcalf, ICC Executive Council Member

ICC Chukotka -

  • Tatiana Archirgina, ICC Chukotka President and ICC Vice-Chair
  • Elvira Tyunikova, ICC Executive Council Member

Sámi and Inuit relationship

The Inuit and the Sámi representatives have been working together for many years internationally as ”Arctic Caucus”. This relationship have been ongoing  within the United Nations work promoting indigenous peoples rights and other foras like the Arctic Council

This relationship is continuing in relation to the work preparing the High Level Plenary Session of the UN General Assembly on Indigenous Peoples known as the World Conference in 2014 through the Global Coordinating Group of that coming event as Arctic members along with other six indigenous peoples regions of the world.

The organisation of the Sámi people

The Sámi are the indigenous people of Finland, Norway, the Kola Peninsula of the Russian Federation and Sweden.

The Sámi people are organised politically in various ways, including through local, national and regional institutions and organisations.

The following provides a brief presentation of some key Sámi institutions and organisations, and the Sámi preparatory process towards the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.

Sámi Parliaments in Finland, Norway and Sweden

The Sámi people have three Sámi parliaments whose headquarters are located in Inari (Finland), Karasjok (Norway) and Kiruna (Sweden). The Sámi Parliament in Finland was established in 1973, the Sámi Parliament in Norway was established in 1989, whereas the Sámi Parliament in Sweden was established in 1993.

The Sámi in Russia do not currently have a democratically elected body.

The Sámi Parliamentary Council

The Sámi Parliaments in Finland, Norway and Sweden have established a joint parliamentary cooperative body, the Sámi Parliamentary Council. The Parliamentary Council is an institutionalised collaboration between the Sámi Parliaments in matters which affect the Sámi in several states or the Sámi people as a whole. Secretarial duties are ascribed to the Sámi Parliament holding the presidency.

Sámi organisations in Russia which are represented in the Saami Council (non-governmental organisation) are also permanent participants in the Sámi Parliamentary Council.

The Saami Council

The Saami Council is a pan-Sámi non-governmental organisation, established in 1956.

The Saami Council is a common cultural and political institution and consultative body for Sámi organisations in Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden.

Sámi preparations for WCIP 2014

Sámi preparations for the UN high-level meeting, known as World Conference on Indigenous Peoples 2014, are being carried out through collaboration between the Sámi Parliaments, Sámi Parliamentary Council and Saami Council.

A pan-Sámi meeting was held in Inari in Finland in June 2012, with broad participation from Sámi in all four countries, including youth and women. The meeting adopted a joint document, the Inari Declaration, which contains the Sámi people’s aspirations and priorities in the process leading up to WCIP 2014.

Geographically, the Sámi belong to the Arctic region. Sámi and Inuit representatives held an Arctic preparatory meeting in October 2012, in Nuuk (Greenland).  At this meeting, they agreed upon joint positions, priorities and strategies for the World Conference process, as reflected in the Nuuk Arctic Declaration for the UN World Conference on Indigenous Peoples 2014.





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