The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) represents approximately 160,000 Inuit in Alaska/United States, Canada, Greenland/Denmark and Chukotka/Russia. Founded in 1977 by the late Eben Hopson Sr. in Barrow, Alaska, the ICC has flourished and grown into a major international indigenous peoples organization.
To thrive in their circumpolar homeland, Inuit had the vision to realize they must speak with a united voice on issues of common concern and combine their energies and talents towards protecting and promoting their way of life. The principle goals of ICC are, too
• strengthen unity among Inuit of the circumpolar region;
• promote Inuit rights and interests on an international level;
• develop and encourage long-term policies that safeguard the Arctic environment; and
• seek full and active partnership in the political, economic, and social development of circumpolar regions.
ICC has held Consultative Status II at the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 1983 and is active within the United Nations and its various subsidiary bodies. ICC consults regularly with the UN on a broad range of issues concerning the Arctic. ICC also consults with the United Nations on issues concerning indigenous human rights.
ICC was actively involved in the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy, which later became the Arctic Council in 1996. ICC is one of the original permanent participants under the Arctic Council structure. ICC focuses great effort within the Arctic Council and has been active in its various working groups, task forces and projects. ICC also participates regularly in Senior Arctic Officials meetings and Arctic Ministerial meetings. ICC considers the Arctic Council to be the premier international forum dealing with Arctic policy issues today.