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       Last Update: March 30th, 2010


2030 NORTH


Mary Simon, Co-Chair

Mary Simon has served as President of ITK since July 2006. She was the Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade from 1994 to 2003; the Canadian Ambassador to Denmark (1999-2001); a member of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of NAFTA's Commission on Environmental Cooperation (1997-2000); and has received honorary doctorate of law degrees from McGill, Queen's and Trent Universities.

Ms. Simon has also received many honours for her leadership in developing strategies for Aboriginal and northern affairs. She was awarded the Order of Canada, National Order of Quebec, the Gold Order of Greenland, the National Aboriginal Achievement Award and the Gold Medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. She is a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America and of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

Tony Penikett, Co-Chair

Tony Penikett spent eighteen years as a Member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly and six years as a senior official in the governments of Saskatchewan and British Columbia. In recent months, his work as a mediator and negotiator has taken him to the Eastern Arctic, the Middle East and Latin America. Penikett is the author of Reconciliation: First Nations Treaty Making, Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver, 2006.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Sheila Watt-Cloutier

Sheila Watt-Cloutier has been a political spokesperson for Inuit for over a decade. She is the past Chair of Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), the organization that represents internationally the 155,000 Inuit of Canada, Greenland, Alaska, and Chukotka in the Far East of the Federation of Russia, and was Corporate Secretary of Makivik Corporation. Ms. Watt-Cloutier was instrumental as a spokesperson for a coalition of northern Indigenous Peoples in the global negotiations that led to the 2001 Stockholm Convention banning the generation and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that contaminate the arctic food web.

Ms. Watt-Cloutier received the inaugural Global Environment Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations in recognition for her POPs work. She is also the recipient of the 2004 Aboriginal Achievement Award for Environment. In 2005, she was honored with the United Nations Champion of the Earth Award and the Sophie prize in Norway. Later in the year, she was presented with the inaugural Northern Medal by the outgoing Governor General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson. In December 2006 Sheila was made an Officer in the Order of Canada, and in 2007 was publicly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and received the Rachel Carson Prize.

Ms. Watt-Cloutier sums up her work by saying: “I do nothing more than remind the world that the Arctic is not a barren land devoid of life but a rich and majestic land that has supported our resilient culture for millennia. Even though small in number and living far from the corridors of power, it appears that the wisdom of the land strikes a universal chord on a planet where many are searching for sustainability.”


SESSION 1: In the Grip of Climate Change

Dr. Rob Huebert, University of Calgary

Rob Huebert is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary, and the associate director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. He is currently a senior research fellow of the Canadian International Council. Dr. Huebert has also taught at Memorial University, Dalhousie University, and the University of Manitoba. His area of research interests include: international relations, strategic studies, the Law of the Sea, maritime affairs, Canadian foreign and defense policy, and circumpolar relations.

He publishes on the issue of Canadian Arctic Security, Maritime Security, and Canadian Defense. His work has appeared in International Journal; Canadian Foreign Policy; Isuma: Canadian Journal of Policy Research and Canadian Military Journal.. He was also a co-author of the Report To Secure a Nation: Canadian Defence and Security into the 21st Century; and co-editor of Commercial Satellite Imagery and United Nations Peacekeeping and Breaking Ice: Canadian Integrated Ocean Management in the Canadian North. He also comments on Canadian security and Arctic issues in both the Canadian and international media.


  • Leslie Whitby, Director, Environment and Renewal Resources Directorate, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Dr. Chris Burn, Permafrost Specialist, Carleton University
  • Douglas Bancroft, Canadian Ice Service
  • Ed Schultz, Executive Director, Council for Yukon First Nations

SESSION 2: The Pace of Change

Oran Young, University of California

Oran Young is a renowned Arctic expert and a world leader in the fields of international governance and environmental institutions. His scientific work encompasses both basic research focusing on collective choice and social institutions, and applied research dealing with issues pertaining to international environmental governance and the Arctic as an international region. Professor Young served for six years as vice-president of the International Arctic Science Committee and was the founding chair of the Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change within the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. He currently chairs the Scientific Steering Committee of the international project on the Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change. Among the more than 20 books he has authored are The Institutional Dimensions of Environmental Change and Governance in World Affairs.


  • Dr. Chris Southcott, Chair & Research Director, Social Economy Research Network for Northern Canada
  • Stephen Kakfwi, Kakfwi & Associates, NWT
  • Ron Cruikshank, Director, Yukon Land Use Planning Council
  • Bob Carson, Assistant Deputy Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs, Government of Nunavut

SESSION 3: Land Claims Agreements

John Donihee, Barrister and Solicitor

John Donihee began his career in the North as a wildlife biologist with the Government of the Northwest Territories. Between 1979 and 1985, his work for the Department of Renewable Resources focused on wildlife, habitat, and the environmental impact assessment of major development projects, both mining and oil and gas. Mr. Donihee’s involvement in northern resource management and environmental issues now spans more than 25 years in a variety of roles. Most recently as a lawyer practicing environmental and aboriginal law he has worked closely with co-management boards established by land claims. John brings a lifetime of engagement and commitment to the North to bear on all of his endeavours. Since 2003, John has been in private practice, as a sole practitioner, and focuses his work exclusively on northern environmental, aboriginal and resource development matters.His clients include Inuvialuit and Inuit organizations, Renewable Resources Boards and tribunals responsible for land and water regulation as well as environmental impact assessment.He was retained as counsel by the Government of Nunavut during the development of their new wildlife legislation and is currently advising the Joint Secretariat on the GNWT's proposed Species at Risk legislation.


  • John Merritt, Legal Counsel, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.
  • Emily Borsy, Land Use Policy Coordinator, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
  • Joe Linklater, Chair, Gwich’in Council International

SESSION 4: A Northern Science Policy for Canada

Dr. David Hik, University of Alberta

David Hik is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Northern Ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. He completed his university education at Queen's (BSc), Toronto (MSc) and University of British Columbia (PhD) before moving to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Canberra, Australia. In 1994 he returned to a faculty position at the University of Toronto, and then moved to the University of Alberta in 1999. His current research interests are focused mostly on the effects of environmental variability and/or development on interactions between plants and animals and people in northern tundra and mountain environments in Yukon, NWT and Svalbard, Norway. He also has a long-standing interest in the relationship between science and public policy, and in linking science and research to education and capacity building. He is presently serving as Executive Director of the Canadian International Polar Year (IPY) Secretariat, as vice-president of the International Arctic Science Committee, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Arctic Institute of North America (University of Calgary), and as an advisor to several other organizations involved in various aspects of polar science and education.


  • Steve Bigras, Executive Director, Canadian Polar Commission
  • Dr. Peter Geller, Peter Geller  Vice-President, Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies
  • Dr. Benoit Beauchamp, Executive Director, Arctic Institute of North America
  • Dr. Steve Kokelj, Water & Resources Division, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

SESSION 5: Canada’s North: A New Strategy

Dr. Franklin Griffiths, University of Toronto

Franklyn Griffiths is one of Canada's leading experts on Arctic affairs. Until recently he was a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. There he held the George Ignatieff Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies. Professor Griffiths contributed, along with others, to the formation of the Arctic Council, co-chairing the Arctic Council Panel which persuaded the Government of Canada to commit formally to the idea of a central Arctic intergovernmental forum with direct Aboriginal participation. At various times Professor Griffiths has been director of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Toronto, visiting professor at Stanford University, and visiting scholar at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge. In 1986-87 he was senior policy advisor in the Office of Canada's Secretary of State for External Affairs. Now retired from the University of Toronto, Franklyn Griffiths is at work on a book on civility in world politics. He also consults on Canadian and circumpolar Arctic affairs, and on international security matters with particular reference to Russian weapon-grade plutonium and the management of Canada's nuclear fuel waste.


  • Brigadier General David Millar, Commander, Joint Task Force North
  • George Braden, Braden & Associates, Ottawa
  • Jim Lahey, Associated Deputy Minister, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (retired)
  • Udloriak Hanson, Senior Policy Liaison, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.


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