The Arctic has one of the largest indigenous populations in the world, as approximately 500.000 of its 4 million inhabitants belong to an estimate of 40 different indigenous groups. The affairs of the indigenous peoples have therefore, from the beginning, been among the defining themes of Arctic Circle. The issues are of global relevance and impact and participation of representatives of the indigenous communities has been an important part of both Plenary Sessions and other Sessions at Arctic Circle Assemblies and Forums. The importance of dialogue between indigenous peoples in the north and the south was first brought to the Arctic Circle Assembly in 2017 by Conservation International. The issue was raised that in today's world there are many common realities that indigenous communities are facing around the globe. Victories as well as challenges. Connecting with different communities, sharing experiences and stories, finding common ground and support is both helpful and empowering.
The Mission Council on Global Arctic Indigenous Dialogue was launched in May 2021. Its members aim to deepen awareness of indigenous issues, opportunities and challenges and facilitate dialogue between Indigenous Peoples from around the globe. The members have in their professional capacities been particularly engaged in Indigenous matters and will continue through the Mission Council to establish the Global Arctic Indigenous Dialogue.