Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Climate Change and the Arctic

We were delighted to sponsor the participation of Patricia Cochran, Executive Director of the Alaska Native Science Commission, at the Northern Research Forum in Akureyri last week.  She delivered a keynote speech in Akureyri on climate change, and then gave a lecture at the University of Iceland and visited the Center for Arctic Policy Studies in Reykjavik.  We invited Patricia to Iceland to share her unique perspective on the impact of climate change on the Arctic and the world.

She is an Inupiat Eskimo born and raised in Nome, Alaska. She has extensive experience working with Alaska Native communities and the Alaska Native Science Commission has helped give those communities a voice in national and international climate change discussions.  She has also represented the Inuit Circumpolar Council in the Arctic Council.  Her presentations gave us a lot to think about regarding the role of “Traditional Knowledge” in the shaping of Arctic policies. She made a forceful case that the indigenous people of the Arctic aren’t simply stakeholders; they are “rights holders.”