The Government of Canada Launches Co-Developed Arctic and Northern Policy Framework

News release

A long-term, strategic vision for the Canada’s Arctic and North.

September 10, 2019 — Ottawa, ON — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations launched Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework.

The Framework sets out a long-term, strategic vision that will guide the Government of Canada’s activities and investments in the Arctic to 2030 and beyond and will better align Canada’s national and international policy objectives with the priorities of Indigenous peoples and Arctic and Northern residents.

As the first policy framework of this scope to be co-developed with Indigenous, territorial, and provincial partners, the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework demonstrates Canada’s commitment to working collaboratively. Co-development encompassed a broad spectrum of engagement and collaboration and enabled partners to contribute in varying ways, reflecting their own priorities and capacities. This inclusive approach will extend to implementation.

Through the Framework, Canada is also supporting international cooperation that strengthens the rules-based international order in the Arctic and addresses the key challenges and opportunities impacting the people, economy and environment of Canada’s Arctic and North.

The Framework takes an inclusive approach to the northern region and reflects the unique interests, priorities and circumstances of its people. As part of this approach, provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners were invited to develop chapters to the Framework that lay out their respective visions, aspirations and priorities.

In order to respect and support Inuit self-determination, an Inuit Nunangat chapter was developed as an Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee deliverable. This chapter will guide how Arctic and Northern Policy Framework goals and objectives are implemented in Inuit Nunangat. In addition, Territorial governments have authored chapters setting out their priorities for new investments and approaches in areas such as economic development, infrastructure, and post-secondary education. Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut are also contributing a pan-territorial chapter that articulates their common challenges and opportunities.

The Framework and partner chapters will form the foundation for future discussions as work on the Framework enters its next phase, which focuses on co-development of implementation and governance moving towards more integrated federal-territorial-provincial and Indigenous approaches to challenges and opportunities in Canada’s Arctic and North. Partner chapters will be integral to this next step towards improving the quality of life for our Arctic and Northern residents, especially for Indigenous people.

The Government of Canada will continue to build on these partnerships and investments to protect the land, support healthy communities, respect the rights and interests of Indigenous peoples, and nurture a strong, diversified, sustainable and dynamic economy in the Arctic and North.


“We have listened to Northerners about what they want, and we know that Arctic peoples and communities must be at the centre of this Framework. In co-developing Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework, our partners helped us to understand and reflect the unique opportunities and challenges within the different regions, jurisdictional responsibilities and treaty rights across the Arctic and the North. Together, we have developed a shared vision for a strong, prosperous and sustainable Arctic, which will guide our work in the region to 2030 and beyond.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Fostering success in the Arctic is necessary in nation-building. It is our hope that the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework will lead to direct, strategic investments to meet Nunavut’s urgent needs in basic infrastructure, housing, healthcare, education and training, power transmission and transportation corridors, and connectivity. We look forward to closing the divide between the Arctic and the rest of the country, for the benefit of all Canadians.”

The Honourable Joe Savikataaq
Premier of Nunavut

“Diversifying our economies, fostering reconciliation and addressing the impacts of climate change are shared northern and Canadian priorities. The federal Arctic and Northern Policy Framework is a good starting point and we look forward to further collaboration as we consider how to reach our common goals and work together to improve the lives of Northerners."

The Honourable Sandy Silver
Premier of Yukon

"The Arctic and Northern Policy Framework must be leveraged to bring Inuit Nunangat into Canada as a nation building exercise, helping to create prosperity for Inuit that in turn benefits all Canadians. Our homeland encompasses nearly one third of Canada’s landmass, its entire Arctic coastline and significant offshore areas. Partnerships that respect and advance Inuit self-determination, rights, and governance are therefore pivotal to achieving the Framework’s goals and objectives, particularly at a time of renewed global focus on the Arctic. In the coming months, ITK looks forward to working in partnership with the federal government to advance the Framework’s important goals and objectives.”

President Natan Obed
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Additional Quotes from Indigenous Partners

“The new Arctic and Northern Policy Framework (ANPF) has truly been co-developed by the Government of Canada with both First Nations governments such as the Gwich’in Tribal Council and with our territorial government partner, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT). We at the GTC worked together closely with senior officials of both governments in developing the ANPF. The end product reflects this collaboration. This will contribute to both reconciliation and to establishing a foundation for economic growth to benefit all northerners.”

Bobbie Jo Greenland-Morgan,
Grand Chief and President, Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC)

Additional Quotes from Government of Canada

“Canada’s new Arctic and Northern Policy Framework will shape Canada’s responses to the new challenges and opportunities in the North.  The Arctic region is central to Canada’s national identity, prosperity, environment, security and sovereignty. Broadening Canada’s international engagement will contribute to ensuring the priorities of Northerners, especially Indigenous peoples, are central to all we do.”

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P.,
Minister of Foreign Affairs

“As outlined in our Defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged, enhancing our ability to operate in the rapidly evolving Arctic environment is a key priority for Canada. This new Arctic and Northern Policy Framework, reflective of close collaboration with Arctic communities will be critical to that effort. Increasing activity in the North will result in increased security demands and we are investing in a range of new capabilities that will better position the Canadian Armed Forces to meet these needs.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan,
Minister of National Defence

“The Government of Canada recognizes that in order to succeed in the new global economy we must build on past achievements, address challenges, and embrace new economic opportunities that position the country for the future. CanNor’s Pan-Territorial Growth Strategy sets our path forward towards building vibrant economies across the territories, increasing the prosperity of the North and contributing to Canada’s success as a whole.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains,
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Minister responsible for CanNor

“The Government of Canada recognizes that transportation is a major contributor to the economic growth and social well-being of Canada’s Northern communities. Today’s launch of the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework reflects our commitment to better address the unique transportation needs of the North. We have dedicated an additional $400 million, for a total of $800 million, under the National Trade Corridors Fund to strengthen northern transportation infrastructure. These investments will improve access to safe, efficient and accessible transportation options, and will help us deliver on our promise to build safer, healthier and stronger communities in the North and across Canada.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

“Canada’s North is warming three times faster than the global average. This directly impacts people’s wellbeing and livelihood – from food security to health concerns and infrastructure. We will keep working with northern communities to build resilient and sustainable communities, and protect the environment while growing the economy. ”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“One of the most valuable elements of the Framework is its collaborative development, in lockstep with Northern and Arctic communities and reflecting Indigenous knowledge. This is the spirit with which we aim to deliver all of our joint commitments to keep Canadians safe.”

The Honourable Ralph Goodale,
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Quick facts

  • In December 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau committed to co-developing an Arctic Policy Framework, with Northerners, Territorial and Provincial governments, and Indigenous Peoples.

  • The Framework replaces Canada’s Northern Strategy (2009) and the Statement on Canada’s Arctic Foreign Policy (2010).

  • For the first time, the federal government worked collaboratively with Indigenous representatives, and six territorial and provincial governments to define and co-develop this long-term vision. The Framework was built with consideration of the priorities and perspectives of Arctic and Northern people.

  • This collaborative work supports the Government’s commitment to renewing Inuit-to-Crown, nation-to-nation and government-to-government relationships and ensuring that Northerners’ needs are recognized, respected, and reflected.

  • Budget 2019 proposed a number of new measures totaling more than $700 million to support the Framework and complement existing efforts to strengthen Arctic and northern communities.

  • This includes new funding to diversify post-secondary educational options in the territories, enhance infrastructure resources to connect Northern and remote communities and support clean energy production, increase economic development programming, enable critical Arctic research, and enhance Canada’s global Arctic leadership.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Matthew Dillon-Leitch
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

Media Relations
Global Affairs Canada

Media Relations

Media Relations
Transport Canada

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Media Relations
Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
(613) 991-0657

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