Building a New Arctic Policy Framework for Canada

In December 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to co-develop a new Arctic Policy Framework with Northerners, territorial and provincial governments, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis People. The new framework will replace Canada’s Northern Strategy and Statement on Canada’s Arctic Foreign Policy and develop a long-term vision for Canada’s role in the Arctic to 2030.

Over the past year, the Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAC) (now Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs (CIRNA)) has led an engagement process to gather input from a variety of stakeholders and rights-holders to inform the framework. A key intent of the engagement process is to ensure that Arctic residents and governments are at the forefront of policy decisions affecting the North. The framework will also incorporate ideas and input from a variety of sources across Canada to ensure that the framework reflects the interests, priorities and desired outcomes of both the federal government and their partners. The engagement approach has been guided by six key themes, as outlined in Canada’s Arctic Policy Framework: Discussion Guide.

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Figure 1. Location of regional round table
meetings hosted across the North.

To date, a series of regional round table meetings were hosted across the North to gather input from Northern communities, organizations and governments (see Figure 1). Summaries of what was heard at these discussions can be read for sessions in Churchill, Nain and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

A week of round table discussions in early February 2018 engaged cross-Canada representatives from the extractive industry (i.e. mining, oil and gas), innovators from the non-extractives industry, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), scientists, researchers and academics on their priorities for the Arctic. Most recently, a series of online round table discussions engaged and gathered input from Canada’s youth on what activities and investments should be prioritized under the new framework.

Stratos provided support to INAC by:

  • Organizing and facilitating a week of round table discussions engaging key representatives from the extractive industry, non-extractive industry, innovators, NGOs, scientists, researchers and academics;
  • Organizing and facilitating a series of online youth engagement sessions; and
  • Preparing a report back to INAC on what was heard during these round table discussions and youth engagement sessions to be used to inform and guide the creation of the new framework.

For more information on Stratos’ role in the Arctic Policy Framework engagement process contact Jennifer Davis 
(Stratos Director).