Duane Smith

The President of Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada speaks about NCP and its role in educating and informing Northerners and the international community of its results.

Transcript: Duane Smith

My name is Duane Smith. I’m the president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada). I’m here to talk about the Northern Contaminants Program and to reflect a little bit on its 20 years of successful work that it’s been conducting in close co-operation with the people in Canada’s Arctic.

We use the information and the results that come out of the program to try and educate and inform people as to how these things are affecting Inuit in general because the contaminants are entering the ecosystem, they’re coming from a different part of the world either by ocean currents or by the air transferring it into the Arctic and affecting the ecosystems which the Inuit depend on.

The spin-off of the good work that it’s been doing allows for other scientists, other researchers as well as people who want to learn more about contaminant issues and how that’s affecting the ecosystems. And the people right at the community level can work with those scientists and researchers by gathering the samples and the information that’s required right at the community again. And so that’s how they can work really good together and close with each other.

With my role and involvement in Arctic Council and other areas, either circumpolar-ly or internationally, the NCP is looked upon as a good program that works very well. And others in the circumpolar Arctic try to replicate that to the best degree that they can because they’ve seen the successes of the contaminants program and how it interrelates with the scientists and the people that know the traditional knowledge.

Biography

Duane Smith has served as President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (Canada) since 2002. As President of ICC Canada, he also becomes Vice-President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. Born and raised in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Smith continues his close attachment to the land, harvesting marine mammals and fish just as his ancestors did. He has represented the Inuvialuit at all levels for many years on matters of renewable resource use and management. He was named to the Inuvialuit Game Council in 1992 as a member from Inuvik, and is currently its chair.

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