Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic: Re-taking Control of the Far North

  • Ken S. Coates
  • Else Grete Broderstad


Fifty years ago, Indigenous affairs played a minor role in the political affairs of the Circumpolar World. Indigenous frustrations with rapidly changing northern conditions included the expansion of the welfare state, the growth of northern infrastructure and resource development, and the influx of a substantial number of non-Indigenous peoples into the North. This era, continuing a pattern of colonial intervention that stretches back generations across the Arctic, saw the emergence of active Indigenous political activism and a gradual transformation of the role of Indigenous people and governments in national and international political affairs. The changes in Indigenous political engagement have been both profound and productive, resulting in significant improvements in economic, social and cultural conditions while leaving major health, linguistic and community issues to be addressed. The most significant transition emerging from Indigenous activism has been the emergence of co-production of policy and programming as a central feature of Indigenous-government relations with the exception of Russia, where development has unfolded more slowly, Circumpolar governments have increasingly incorporated Indigenous people into decision-making processes and government systems, providing consultation, coordination and a shift toward collaborative planning.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ken S. Coates
    • 1
  • Else Grete Broderstad
    • 2
  1. 1.Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public PolicyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.University of TromsøTromsøNorway

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