The 6th of February is the Saami National Day which is celebrated in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, the four countries where the indigenous Saami people live today. The Saami National Day has been celebrated since 1993. The date, February 6, was chosen to commemorate the first Saami congress which was held in Trondheim, Norway in 1917.

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IPCAP PSG gathered for its first meeting on November 7 in Luleå, Sweden. Permanent participant organisations Aleut International Association (AIA), Russian Indigenous Peoples Organisation (RAIPON), Sami Council, Indigenous Peoples Secretariat (IPS), Arctic Council secretariat and country representatives from Finland, Norway, Sweden and USA participated in the meeting. The group discussed its Terms of Reference and mandate. The aim of the PSG is both to ensure the Indigenous Peoples’ concerns are taken into account in other Arctic Council projects and to facilitate development of projects addressing the exposure to and impacts of contaminants in the indigenous communities. The PSG will elect two co-chairs, one chosen by the PPs and one by the Arctic Member States.

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The Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council is is arranging the first Senior Arctic Officials (SAO) meeting of the year at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm in March. The Chairmanship in cooperation with the museum hope to arouse interest in nature and natural sciences, the environment, conservation and biodiversity. Interests that chime well with the activities of the Arctic Council.

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As the Arctic becomes an interesting place for business actors to conduct operations, the strains on this sensitive region are increasing. The Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council is organizing a workshop in Stockholm on 26–27 January to determine whether the OECD guidelines on corporate social responsibility (CSR) are adequate for the Arctic region.

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The first draft of the Arctic Council communication strategy will soon be sent to a contact group for evaluation.The draft of the communication strategy is based on groundwork done by the Arctic Council Communication and Outreach group which was active during the period 2010-2011. The group was lead by Giles Norman from Canada who did extensive surveys with representatives from the member states, permanent participants, and working groups to evaluate the communication needs of the Arctic Council. This work resulted in the Arctic Council Communications and Outreach Guidelines which were approved in 2011.

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