Arctic Sovereignty Workshop

Northern Sovereignty and Political Geography in North America

Washington, DC, June 14, 2010

The Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS)

In partnership with

Center for International Studies, Western Washington University,  Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington and Trent University

arctic pic

Speaker Bios / event summary


This workshop seeks to enhance the understanding of Arctic sovereignty issues among American scholars, academics and policymakers who specialize in northern issues and concerns. It will focus its attention on Canadian understandings and perspectives on these matters. Frequently this Canadian vantage point is absent from the discourse on Arctic issues within the academic and policy communities in the United States.  This results in a rather limited and unbalanced understanding of the full range of issues and concerns at stake within the contemporary North. 

The workshop will facilitate interaction between invited Canadian and American speakers knowledgeable of northern affairs and selected representatives from the academic, policy and government circles in the United States.  The overarching goal is to better acquaint such American leaders with the policies and perspectives that shape Canada’s views on northern sovereignty and cooperation within the Arctic today. 

A key component of the workshop will be its presentation of Canadian views utilizing a wide set of critical perspectives—geographic, political, economic, environmental and socio-cultural.  It is also a workshop which seeks to understand sovereignty from the perspective of both national and regional governments as well as the Inuit of the area. The workshop will enable Americans to better understand the views of their “neighbors to the north” in this vital area of international concern and action.



Welcome and Opening Comments

Douglas Nord, Center for International Studies, Western

Washington University, ACSUS President

Presentation 1: 9:15-10:15 AM:     

“Historical, Political and Legal Dimensions of Canadian Claims to Sovereignty in the North,” Philip Steinberg, Department of Geography, Florida State University

DISCUSSANT: Heather Nicol, Department of  Geography, Trent University

Presentation 2: 10:15-11:15 AM:   

“Protecting and Promoting Canadian Arctic Sovereignty and Security,”Rob Huebert, Center for Military and   Strategic Studies, University of Calgary

DISCUSSANT: Joël Plouffe, University of Quebec at Montreal

Presentation 3: 11:15-12:15:   

“The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Process and the 2005 Inuit Human Rights Petition,” Terry Fenge, Consultant on Aboriginal, Environmental and Circumpolar Affairs

DISCUSSANT: Udlu Hanson, Senior Policy Advisor Nunavut Tunngavik

Lunch: 12:15-1:30 PM:                      

Presentation 3: 1:30-2:30 PM: 

“Canada-U.S. Relations in the Arctic,” Stéphane Roussel, Research Chair on Canadian Foreign Policy and Defence, University of Quebec at Montreal

DISCUSSANT: Douglas Nord, Center for International Studies, Western Washington University

Presentation 4: 2:30-3:30 PM:             

“Canada’s Sovereignty in the Arctic: An Inuit Perspective,”  Jean-François Arteau, Legal Counsel and Executive Assistant to the President of Makivik Corporation, Quebec City

DISCUSSANT: Nadine Fabbi, Canadian Studies Center, University of Washington

4:15 PM:          Closing Comments      

Heather Nicol, Department of Geography, Trent University 

With the assistance of the Government of Canada / avec l’appui du gouvernement du Canada


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