Bilateral Relationships

AANDC is engaged in a number of bilateral agreements that foster circumpolar cooperation and promote Canadian priorities. Strong bilateral ties are maintained with Canada's circumpolar neighbours in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples and Northerners to ensure that they are well-positioned to take advantage of international opportunities which will contribute to the economic development of the North.

AANDC actively upholds bilateral agreements with three circumpolar neighbours: the Russian Federation, Norway, and the United States of America.

Canada-Russian Federation

Cooperation on Northern issues between Canada and the Russian Federation has assumed an important place in overall Canada-Russia relations. This long-standing engagement has evolved into active cooperation focussing on broadening of knowledge – including scientific knowledge – as well as the sharing of best practices, capacity-building, a focus on governance, and sustainable development. AANDC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Regional Development of the Russian Federation in 2007. The Work Plan under this MOU is renewed on an annual basis.

AANDC's priorities within the bilateral cooperation with the Russian Federation include:

  • Facilitating North-to-North partnerships and networks with territorial governments and Aboriginal organizations
  • Building capacity of Canada's northerners to participate in circumpolar cooperation
  • Capacity-building and sharing best practices with Russian government  partners and Aboriginal organizations in the areas of sustainable development and governance
  • Promoting business ties between Canadian and Russian northerners
  • Supporting the Canada-Russia Intergovernmental Economic Commission (Arctic and North Working Group )


The Canada-Norway Dialogue was established in 2006 and is an ongoing dialogue that identifies opportunities to strengthen cooperation between Canada and Norway on issues pertaining to the High North. This annual dialogue fosters an exchange of perspectives and best practices that are mutually beneficial for both Canada and Norway.

Canada-United States of America

The Government of Canada and the United States of America work on a wide range of common interests and issues in the context of Indigenous and Northern issues. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States of America Department of the Interior which will  enhance cooperation in a number of areas, including policy and legislation experience, socio-economic development of Indigenous peoples and the North, northern environment and sustainable development, and capacity-building through partnerships.