Northern and Indigenous partners gather for the 3rd annual Arctic and Northern Policy Framework Leadership Committee meeting

News release

September 29, 2022 — Yellowknife, Northwest Territories — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Indigenous, federal, territorial and provincial partners gathered in Yellowknife today to discuss priorities and next steps in the implementation of Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework (the Framework) at the third annual Arctic and Northern Policy Framework Leadership Committee meeting. 

In addition to serving as an opportunity for leaders to discuss the Framework implementation, Arctic and northern defence and security, and critical minerals in the North, today’s meeting also provided an important forum for partners to identify immediate priorities as well as longer-term priorities in areas such as infrastructure and housing, health and wellness support, climate change and education.

The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs; the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources; and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Bryan May, joined other committee members at the meeting, which built on the collaborative outcomes of the previous Leadership Committee meeting in December 2021.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence highlighted the Government of Canada’s commitments to modernize NORAD, conduct a defence policy update, and pursue a distinctions-based, nation-to-nation approach to Indigenous engagement. He underscored how recently announced NORAD investments will enhance the Canadian Armed Forces capabilities to detect, deter and defeat aerospace threats in the Arctic and the North. These investments will also provide new opportunities to deepen National Defence’s northern, territorial, and Indigenous partnerships as we work together to advance shared objectives.

The Minister of Natural Resources provided an update on the ongoing work to develop Canada's Critical Minerals Strategy. The Minister noted that Framework partners’ perspectives, participation and feedback on the Strategy are essential. By increasing the ability of Indigenous peoples to meaningfully participate in resource management and benefit from its development, the Critical Minerals Strategy will advance key priorities of the Framework, including in relation to Indigenous self-determination and economic reconciliation.

The Minister of Northern Affairs also attended a portion of the Northwest Territories Council of Leaders meeting between territorial Indigenous leadership and the Government of the Northwest Territories. 

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

Canada will continue to work with partners across the North and Arctic to ensure that federal priorities, activities and investments in the Arctic continue to align with the priorities and needs of Northerners.


“The co-development and co-implementation of the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework is just one example of how we are doing things differently in the North and Arctic, by changing the way that governments and partner organizations work together. Today, we again reaffirmed our commitment to aligning Canada’s policies and investments with the priorities of Northern and Indigenous partners and working together for a vibrant, prosperous and sustainable Arctic and northern region where people are striving, strong and safe. I look forward to continue building on what we have achieved together so far.”

The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

“Northern communities are facing the impacts of climate change at an accelerated rate, which poses challenges to security, ecosystems and economies. The Government of Canada is working with our partners including Indigenous communities, Provinces and Territories, workers, and industry to ensure that northern communities have access to opportunities in critical minerals, clean energy, and the sustainable jobs associated with them.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Natural Resources

“Indigenous and Northern communities are key partners in our work to protect Canada’s Arctic sovereignty. At today’s meeting, we made progress on ensuring that the Canadian Arctic and the people who live there are safe, secure, and well-defended. As we work to modernize NORAD, we are committed to deepening our partnership with Indigenous and Northern communities, and to ensuring that the economic opportunities of these investments are shared.”

Bryan May
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence 

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada launched Canada's Arctic and Northern Policy Framework in September 2019. For the first time, the federal government worked collaboratively with Indigenous partners and six territorial and provincial governments to define and co-develop this long-term vision for the Arctic and the North. The Framework reflects the priorities and perspectives of Arctic and northern people and is grounded in inclusive engagement across the region. 

  • The Framework guides the Government of Canada's priorities, activities and investments in the Arctic to 2030 and beyond, and better aligns Canada's national and international policy objectives with the priorities of Northerners.

  • The Framework includes a co-developed policy statement and an International chapter; a federally developed Safety, Security and Defence chapter; an Inuit-drafted Inuit Nunangat chapter; chapters drafted by the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Nunavut; and a Pan-Territorial chapter. Other partner chapters are anticipated to be included once released.

  • Budget 2022 includes new spending commitments which will contribute to the implementation of framework goals and objectives. Many of these new investments align with the priorities which framework partners expressed at the 2021 Arctic and Northern Policy Framework Leadership Committee meeting, including investments in housing, supports for mental health and wellness, measures relating to climate change impacts and adaptation, and distinctions-based measures to express self-determination.

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For more information, media may contact:

Kyle Allen
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

Media Relations
Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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