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Minister Aglukkaq Speaks on Canada’s Arctic Council Chairmanship

4 September 2013
Canada and Norway have a long history of collaboration on Arctic issues. In June 2013, a new wing of the Fram Museum opened to house the Gjøa, the ship used by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen to navigate the waterways known as the “Northwest Passage.” Amundsen became trapped in the ice off King William Island, in a remote area of Nunavut, now called Gjoa Haven.

He and his crew spent two winters there and developed a close relationship with the Netsilik Inuit.

“Amundsen’s story and this ship are very meaningful to me. I grew up in the small Arctic community of Gjoa Haven. My family lives there today, and I still call it home,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “The traditional knowledge, expertise and cultures of the people living in the Arctic were critical to Amundsen’s success in reaching the South Pole in 1911. And I believe they will also be key to the future success of the Arctic region.”

Canada is proud to chair the Arctic Council (2013-15). The overarching theme of our Chairmanship is “Development for the People of the North” with a focus on responsible Arctic resource development, safe Arctic shipping and sustainable circumpolar communities. Very simply, Canada will put the interests of those who live in the Arctic first.

During Canada’s Chairmanship, the council program will include the creation of a circumpolar business forum, recommendations for incorporating traditional and local knowledge into its work, and the development of actions to address black carbon and methane emissions.