Polar Law and Arctic Law Thematic Network: Arctic Governance

Organized by the University of Akureyri (UNAK) 16. October 2015

This panel explores emerging issues in Arctic Governance with an emphasis on indigenous governance and the law of the sea. 

The latest Arctic Public Opinion Survey will be introduced to identify the most pressing concerns of Arctic peoples. Indigenous approaches are explained and their contribution to non-indigenous environmental governance assessed. Lack of food security and adequate housing in the Canadian Arctic is explored in historic context, indicating major concerns of poverty and extreme poverty that remain to be overcome.

The priorities of the Government of Greenland are assessed in light of Greenland’s unique legal, political, social and economic status. The future of governance of the Arctic Ocean will be discussed and the potential for an Arctic regional seas programme explored.


  • Tom Axworthy, President and CEO, the Gordon Foundation: Rethinking the Top of the World: Arctic Public Opinion Survey, Vol. 2.
  • Leena Heinamaki, Senior researcher, Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland: From Objects of Protection to Subjects of Cooperation: Indigenous Peoples' Role in Safeguarding the Planet Earth.
  • Tony Penikett, Former Premier of the Yukon, Mediator and Negotiator: Hunting the Northern Character.
  • Mininnguaq Kleist, Director in the Premier's Office, Greenland: Priorities of the Government of Greenland in the Light of Self-Government.
  • Suzanne Lalonde, Professor of Law, University of Montreal: Arctic Stewardship: Devising a Regional Mechanism for the Effective Protection of the Arctic Ocean.


  • Brittany Tardiff, Polar Law Candidate, University of Akureyri