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.