Canada's Original Think Tank

Arctic Sovereignty: Part Four

Arctic Sovereignty: Part Four

Arctic Sovereignty: Part Four

Arctic Sovereignty: Part Four

Published on 7 March 2014
Blog by Senator Charlie Watt

Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough, an Expert Member and Vice Chairperson on the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), shares my opinion that “no state should be able to use the UNCLOS regime and treaty provisions to claim portions or territory of the Arctic Ocean and Seabed that Inuit occupy and have rights to unless Inuit are engaged and ultimately consent.”

Dr. Sambo Dorough presented Inuit concerns to the UNPFII in May of 2013, bringing attention to Canada’s lack of consultation on the upcoming submission to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and she also expressed concern over the UN process and “the lack of representation of Indigenous Peoples within the regulatory and decision making institutions of this important treaty.”

The Forum accepted our concerns and adopted them into their final report in September 2013.

We know this is just the beginning as we have also shared our concerns with the Chairperson of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Chief Wilton Littlechild, and look forward to further initiatives on this file. Please find a clip of Dr. Sambo Dorough’s comments, and the final report here:

Clip of Dr. Sambo Dorough’s comments


Dr. Sambo Dorough’s comments


Final report: United Nations—Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, May 2013


Click here to read Senator Watt’s first blog about Arctic Sovereignty

Click here to read Part Two

Click here to read Part Three