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Arctic Triumph pp 105-125 | Cite as

The Arctic Council and the Advancement of Indigenous Rights

  • Nikolas Sellheim
Chapter
Part of the Springer Polar Sciences book series (SPPS)

Abstract

The Arctic is undoubtedly in crisis. The ice is melting, the tensions between the ‘West’ and Russia are increasing and the Arctic environment is at a crossroads towards unprecedented systemic shift. The picture looks indeed bleak. But amongst these potentially disastrous developments Arctic governance has developed as a triumphant means for advancing indigenous rights, constituting a characteristic of primary importance in a world of increased possibilities for conflict. Especially the Arctic Council as the primary forum for Arctic governance has incorporated elementary aspects of international indigenous rights law into its working procedures. This article examines how the Arctic Council has embedded standards of indigenous rights as a normative basis into its functioning despite its member states struggling with domestic challenges pertaining to indigenous rights. Drawing from primary documentation of the Arctic Council it is shown that within the Arctic Council all member states place equally great emphasis on advancing the wellbeing and rights of Arctic indigenous peoples.

Keywords

Arctic Council Arctic governance Indigenous rights Arctic states Wellbeing 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Marzia Scopelliti and Timo Koivurova for their helpful comments on the draft of this article.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolas Sellheim
    • 1
  1. 1.Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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