Memorandum of Understanding Between the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Canada) and the State Committee on Northern Affairs of the Russian Federation Concerning Cooperation on Aboriginal and Northern Development - Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Table of contents


The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development of Canada (DIAND) and the State Committee on Northern Affairs of the Russian Federation (GOSKOMSEVER), hereinafter referred to as "the participants":

Recognizing that Canada and the Russian Federation, as Arctic states, are facing a wide range of common interests and issues peculiar to the Arctic and northern regions of both countries;

Conscious of the importance of promoting and ensuring sustainable development, including environmental protection, in the Arctic and the North;

Affirming the commitment of both countries to the well-being of its northern population, including the recognition of the unique interests and the special relationship of Aboriginal peoples of the Arctic;

Taking into account the federal responsibility and mandate of the Participants for northern and Aboriginal affairs in their respective countries;

Drawing on the long relationship between Canada and the Russian Federation in the area of Arctic and northern cooperation, and wishing to contribute further to the commitment of both countries to enhanced circumpolar cooperation in accordance with the objectives of the Arctic Council; and

Recognizing that for all activities undertaken under the Memorandum of Understanding, the Participants wish to optimize the participation of provincial/regional, territorial and local governments, Aboriginal organizations and other non-governmental organizations.

Have Reached the following Understanding:

Article I

  1. The Participants will develop further and strengthen bilateral cooperation concerning Aboriginal and northern issues on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit, in the following areas:
    • northern policy development;
    • policy and legislation related to the situation of Aboriginal peoples;
    • socio-economic and cultural development of Aboriginal peoples;
    • northern environment and conservation;
    • capacity building through partnerships; and
    • any other areas as may be mutually agreed.
  2. A work program to carry activities in these areas will be developed by the Participants.

Article II

Cooperation between the Participants will take the following forms:

Article III

For the purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding, the Participants will encourage and facilitate, as appropriate, the direct contacts between regional, territorial and local governments, Aboriginal groups and organizations of the northern regions of both countries, academic and scientific institutions and the private sector, including the conclusion of working arrangements on the implementation of specific projects and programs.

Article IV

Cooperation under this Memorandum of Understanding will be realized in accordance with the laws and regulations of each country.

Article V

Unless otherwise arranged between the Participants, international travel expenses, as well as in-country travel expenses, will be borne by the Sending participant. Efforts will be made to develop, where it is appropriate, cost-sharing arrangements in support of work programs undertaken under the present Memorandum of Understanding.

Article VI

In proposed cooperative activities where it is foreseeable that intellectual property rights might arise, the Participants, in accordance with their national laws, will agree in advance as to the effective protection and allocation of those intellectual property rights.

Article VII

  1. To implement this Memorandum of Understanding, the Participants will establish a Joint Committee which will consist of equal numbers of representatives from Canada and Russia, designated by the Participants.
  2. The Co-chairs of the Joint Committee are:
    for the Canadian side:
    The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development;
    for the Russian side:
    The Chairman of the State Committee on Northern Affairs
  3. The Committee will:
    • oversee the development of a co-operative work plan;
    • serve as a forum for the exchange of information, consultation and facilitating contacts between the Participants;
    • provide general directions and management for the Memorandum of Understanding; and
    • review, and report annually, on the achievements of the cooperation under this Memorandum of Understanding.
  4. The Joint Committee will meet at least once every year.
  5. Coordination of activities under the MOU will be conducted through the Secretariat designated by the Participants.
    For the Canadian side: The Circumpolar Liaison Directorate
    For the Russian side: International Affairs Division

Article VIII

Cooperation under this Memorandum of Understanding will be carried out in consideration of other existing agreements between Canada and the Russian Federation.

Article IX

  1. This Memorandum of Understanding will take effect upon signature by the Participants, and will be in effect for another period of three years, and may be extended with the consent of the Participants. It may be terminated at any time with a six month written notice.
  2. This Memorandum of Understanding may be amended at any time by mutual consent of the Participants.

Done at Ottawa, Canada in this 29th day of February 2000 and will replace the MOU between Participants signed on October 20, 1997 the Russian, French and English languages, all texts being of equal validity.

For the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs and Northern Development (Canada)

Robert Nault

For the State Committee on Northern AFfairs of the Russian Federation

Vladimir V. Goman

Annex A

In accordance with Article II and Article VII of the present MOU, and for the purpose of strengthening inter-ministerial links and northern cooperation, the Participants will undertake the following program of exchange of officials:

  1. The Canadian Participant will co-ordinate the involvement of Canadian Partners in the implementation of joint activities under the Work Plan.

    The Russian Participant, will co-ordinate the involvement of Russian Partners during the implementation of joint activities under the Work Plan.

    The Canadian Participant will be responsible for the expenses of the Russian Partners while in Canada. The Russian Participant will bear the expenses relating to domestic travel and international travel by Russian Partners to and from Canada.
  2. The determination of Joint activities will be conducted by Participants in consultation with members of the Joint Committee in accordance with Article VII.
  3. Annually, Participants will identify concrete activities targeted to enhance interministerial cooperation and sharing of relevant information on policy and strategic direction.

    In light of the above, Participants will coordinate an annual seminar program in Canada and in Russia to facilitate the exchange of information and to promote public awareness and understanding on northern and Aboriginal issues.

    Participants will also coordinate visits by and/or exchange of officials, experts, and northern peoples.
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