Traditional ways of life, including traditional practices, cultural skills, values, and spirituality, are vital to the health and wellbeing of Arctic indigenous peoples and communities. Factors such as globalization and climate change are altering the Arctic in unprecedented ways, and indigenous peoples are adapting and finding innovative ways to ensure traditional ways of life remain relevant in a changing Arctic. For many Arctic inhabitants, practicing these ways of life helps create a sense of cultural identity, fosters a close connection to nature, and provides them with an increased sense of control over their destiny.

A greater awareness of the importance of the traditional ways of life for Arctic Indigenous peoples could lead to better decision-making by those outside the Arctic circumpolar region.

Work of the Arctic Council

Through its initiative to promote traditional ways of life, the Arctic Council has worked to highlight the importance of the continuation of traditional, cultural practices for the health and wellbeing of Arctic indigenous peoples. Two products, both titled "Keeping our Traditions Alive", were developed to help bring awareness to a broader audience. One is a best practices compendium and the other is a promotional video. You can download these below.

Compendium of best practices

This compendium is a compilation of initiatives, programs and policies contributed by Arctic Council States and Permanent Participants that illustrate best practices in promoting traditional ways of life.

Click to download the compendium in:

Video: Keeping Our Traditions Alive

This video, featuring three of the best practices in the compendium, highlights the challenges and opportunities faced by Arctic peoples in continuing to adapt and thrive in their unique environment.

Click to view the video in:

In addition to these tools, the Council also developed an internal communications and advocacy plan which outlines key messages that can be delivered to target audiences about traditional ways of life, and provides ideas on the types of activities that could be implemented to deliver this key messaging.
For more information on this initiative please contact the individual organizations listed in the compendium or the Arctic Council Secretariat.