Wade AuCoin, David Eaves, Sheelagh Davis, Hugo Cameron, Pascale Labbe, Jesse Moore
What are the implications for Canada and Northern communities of climate change, melting ice and opening of the Northwest Passage? The Ice Breakers group led the Icebreakers Dialogue Summit on the Future of Canadaís North June 4-7 in Iqaluit directly following the Action Canada working conference in Nunavut.
Supported by the government of Nunavut and sponsored by Action Canada and the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, the dialogue involved ten participants from government, Inuit organizations, business, nongovernmental organizations, and the legal community, as well as six Action Canada Fellows.
The dialogue, which was based on a scenario of Nunavut in 2020, had three main goals:
- Identify the critical issues and opportunities afforded by opening Arctic waterways;
- Develop a list of key principles and recommendations to guide Canadaís response; and
- Forge relationships between young leaders from Canadaís north and south who share a common interest in these issues.
The group is hopeful that organizations such as the International Polar Year, the Arctic Youth Network and the Nunavut Sivuniksavut College in Ottawa will use the dialogue experience to further discussions between northern and southern Canadians about polar issues. The group has reported results from the Icebreakers Dialogue Summit to policymakers, academics and the media, and will be developing an educational tool to facilitate discussions on issues of concern to Canadaís North.