Canada in the Circumpolar World


As a northern nation in spirit and in fact, Canada has been remarkably slow to recognize the Arctic as a region vital to its aspirations as an independent and influential actor on the global stage.

This edition of Northern Perspectives examines some of the issues influencing Canada's current and future role in the circumpolar world. Political scientist Oran Young looks at the "special relationship" governing Canada-United States relations in the Arctic and warns that the increasing strategic importance of the region may raise new challenges for both Ottawa and Washington; Walter Slipchenko, a circumpolar affairs specialist with the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, reviews the ongoing programme of scientific exchange between Canada and the Soviet Union; past-president of the Canadian-Nordic Society Erik Solem highlights the opportunities for closer ties with Scandinavia in light of the federal government's stated commitment to enhancing circumpolar co-operation; and Ottawa consultant Peter Jull comments on the importance of extra-national linkages forged by northern minority peoples. Also featured is an interview with Finn Lynge on Greenland's changing place in the northern community, an excerpt from a recent address by former Northwest Territories Commissioner Gordon Robertson on the foreign affairs implications of political development in Canada's North, and the official word on circumpolar cooperation as contained in last December's policy statement by Secretary of State for External Affairs Joe Clark.

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