Canada promotes Arctic science collaboration and Indigenous research priorities at meeting of international science Ministers

News release

Ottawa, Ontario, May 10, 2021 — The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, led the Canadian delegation to the 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial held in Tokyo, Japan—and virtually—on May 8-9, 2021.

The ministerial, co-hosted by Iceland and Japan, is the third in a series of biennial meetings of science ministers from Arctic and non-Arctic countries. This year’s theme was Knowledge for a Sustainable Arctic. The focus was on using international scientific cooperation to act on urgent challenges facing the Arctic.

The Canadian delegation participated virtually. Minister Vandal was accompanied by Jennifer C. Hubbard, President and CEO of Polar Knowledge Canada, Dr. Mona Nemer, the Government of Canada’s Chief Science Advisor, and Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.

Canada was pleased to use the Arctic Science Ministerial as an opportunity to champion the importance of respecting and supporting Indigenous self-determination in research in international forums that affect the Arctic, and to advocate alongside Indigenous representatives from Canada for meaningful and respectful partnerships between Arctic researchers and Indigenous peoples under the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework.

The event concluded with the signing of a Joint Statement of Ministers.


As an Arctic nation, the Government of Canada strongly supports international collaboration with other Arctic nations. We are committed to respecting and supporting Indigenous self-determination in research as a pivotal element for strengthening capacity building, education, networking, and resilience.

The Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

The 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial is evidence that cooperation is a hallmark of Arctic research. Canada is a leading advocate, both at home and on the international stage, for Arctic science cooperation and Indigenous self-determination in Arctic research.

Jennifer Hubbard
President and CEO, Polar Knowledge Canada

I am proud to attend the 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial on behalf of Inuit in Canada as a step towards our shared goals with Canada to implement the National Inuit Strategy on Research, advance Inuit self-determination in research, and maximize the potential for Inuit to contribute to and benefit from research in Inuit Nunangat, our homeland in Canada.

Natan Obed, President
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami 

"With the effects of climate change already quite visible in the Arctic, we are on an urgent mission and international science cooperation is vital," said Dr. Mona Nemer, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor. "Scientists and Indigenous and Northern communities working together will create a better understanding of the situation, provide the evidence needed to strengthen our policies, and help us to better prepare for the future."

Dr. Mona Nemer
Government of Canada’s Chief Science Advisor

Quick facts

  • The first Arctic Science Ministerial was organized by the United States and took place in September 2016 in Washington. Science Ministers from 25 governments, the European Union and representatives from Arctic Indigenous peoples' organizations gathered to discuss increased international collaboration on Arctic science. The Republic of Finland and the Federal Republic of Germany co-hosted the Second Arctic Science Ministerial in Berlin in October 2018. The participation of Indigenous peoples was a priority for all the conference partners.

  • Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) is a Government of Canada agency with a mandate to advance Canada’s knowledge of the Arctic and strengthen Canadian leadership in polar science and technology. It is headquartered at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) campus, which it operates, in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

  • Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) is the national representational organization protecting and advancing the rights and interests of Inuit in Canada. It developed the National Inuit Strategy on Research (NISR), which identifies areas for partnership and action that can strengthen the impact and effectiveness for Inuit of research in Inuit Nunangat (the Inuit homeland). 

Associated links


Polar Knowledge Canada  

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