Mark Nuttall Shares Perspectives on Arctic Futures, Global Interests
Dr. Mark Nuttall, Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, spoke to CIC Edmonton on March 22, 2018 during a talk hosted in collaboration with UAlberta North. Dr. Nuttall’s lecture touched upon the various local, national, circumpolar and global agendas and interests are interacting in the arctic, particularly as climate change alters the geographic shape of the region – raising new issues as well as opportunities for global players.
From the impact of sea ice melt on the lifestyle and culture of local communities, to discussions on future resource extraction in Greenland, to the new availability of sea shipping lines through arctic waters, to sovereignty disputes, Dr. Nuttall brought to life a host of dynamics at play and parties with a stake in the outcome.
So what is to be done? A key point is for Canada to recognize it is a northern nation. While the majority of Canadians live in the south, they must understand that Canada is an arctic country and attach increased focus to the region. Another is to recognize the impact of global agendas on the people who actually live in the arctic. While much activism highlights iconic animals like the polar bear, the fact that there are resident communities with interests of their own sometimes gets lost in the shuffle, and their perspectives must help drive the design of one of the many possible “arctic futures.”