ARCHIVED - Duane Smith

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Duane Smith is the President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada). ICC represents the interests of Inuit from Chukotka, Alaska, Canada and Greenland internationally.

Transcript: Duane Smith

Duane Smith: I think everybody didn't realise just how quickly the changes are taking place, or how much we have to adapt that much quicker. My name is Duane Smith and I'm the President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada). We represent the interests of Inuit from Chukotka, Alaska, Canada and Greenland internationally.

There Circumpolar Flaw Lead is one study that's going on in Canada's western – high western Arctic in the eastern portion of the Beaufort Sea, and that study involves three Inuvialuit communities within that area, working very closely with the Inuvialuit in regards to documenting the changes that are taking place and how the people are trying to adapt in that area to those changes.

These two pictures behind me are, in a sense, reflective of the Circumpolar Flaw Lead research that is taking place within Canada's western Arctic. You can see the consultations taking place between the scientists and the Inuit and others as well as the ship that's conducting research activities trying to gather the salinity amongst other things. Some of the observations from the Inuit and the research that's going on with them have noticed how the receding ice goes away earlier in the spring time and comes back later in the fall, and the changing relationship that we have with the ice conditions and how it's effecting the ecosystems, and how the Inuit are trying to adapt with that in a sustainable manner.

In regards to community consultation and the relationship to IPY it's very crucial from an Inuit perspective to consult and have dialogue with the community so that we can inform and educate others around the world in regards to how the changing Arctic is affecting the Inuit and how we live our lives in the Arctic. I would hope that the results of all of these presentations and the discussions that are taking place at the IPY will come up with recommendations that will recognise and help come up with tools for everybody that's living in the Arctic, including the Inuit, to adapt and become much more resilient to the changing environment in the Arctic.

[applause]

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