Peoples of the Arctic

Many of the Arctic Council issues cut across the mandates of the six Arctic Council Working Groups. This page presents issues related to Arctic peoples, with links to relevant work across the Working Groups.

Almost four million people live in the Arctic today, with the precise number depending on where the boundary is drawn. They include indigenous people and recent arrivals, hunters and herders living on the land, and city dwellers. Many distinct indigenous groups are found only in the Arctic, where they continue traditional activities and adapt to the modern world at the same time. Humans have long been a part of the arctic system, shaping and being shaped by the local and regional evironment. In the past few centures, the influx of new arrivals has increased pressure on the arctic environment through rising fish and wildife harvests and industrial development.

Read more: Peoples of the Arctic

Sustainable development projects for Arctic communities

In the Ottawa Declaration from 1996 (the agreement establishing the Arctic Council) it was agreed that the Arctic Council

Community Based Monitoring


The peoples inhabiting the various regions of the Arctic spend vast amounts of time on the land and at sea. Drawing on personal experience, information shared with others, and knowledge handed down through the generations, residents of the Arctic are able to recognize subtle environmental changes and offer insights into their causes.

Read more: Community Based Monitoring


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