Canada's Arctic makes up over 40% of our landmass and is home to more than 100,000 Canadians. It is an essential part of our national identity and an area of growing importance internationally.
The Government of Canada is dedicated to ensuring that the international spotlight stays focused on the challenges and opportunities facing the Arctic.
It is a vast treasure that we inhabit and hold in trust for future generations. Northeners, including indigenous peoples who comprise 80 percent of the population in some regions, have brought a number of issues to the world's attention:
Canada's Artic foreign policy is based on four pillars - protecting Canada's environmental heritage, promoting economic and social development, improving and devolving northern governance and exercising Canada's sovereignty in the Arctic.
Canada has focused global efforts on the impact of climate change in the region. It has been a major player in the negotiaton of international environmental instruments that address critical issues such as pollution and the need to protect and preserve our unique Arctic environment.
Ensuring that economic and social development is sustainable and benefits Arctic inhabitants, particulary indigenous peoples, is a key objective for Canada. But it's not just a domestic issue, long standing bilateral relationships with our Arctic neighbours, are benefiting the region and its inhabitants and helping to build vibrant communities.
Canada's sovereignty over the lands and waters of the Canadian Arctic is long standing, well established and based on historic title and we exercise our sovereign rights responsibly in the region.
Real efforts have been made to ensure that decisions affecting Northerners are brought closer to the communities themselves. We recognise and value the important role that the leadership of indigenous groups and Northerners have played in shaping our international actions.