Sunday, 30 December 2012

#IdleNoMore #CDNPoli #NWT Arrange meeting requested by Chief Spence, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada tells @PMHarper

"...The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A2
Fax: 613-941-6900

Dear Prime Minister,

Re: Meeting requested by Chief Theresa Spence of Attiwapiskat

We write to urge that you immediately arrange a meeting as requested by Chief Theresa Spence. Chief Spence wants a meeting on a Nation to Nation basis with the Prime Minister, the Crown, and the Provincial and Territorial leaders along with all the First Nations leaders to discuss First Nations' inherent and treaty rights.
Please remember that Canada is constitutionally defined as a "free and democratic society" founded on principles that recognize the supremacy of the rule of law. This means that law must be formulated with the informed consent of the Canadian people.  The equality rights in our constitution are meant to ensure that law is used as a tool to achieve justice for all. This is part of our traditional Anglo-Canadian constitutional heritage.  These principles have been affirmed by international human rights treaties that Canada has ratified. The Canadian constitution also explicitly requires respect for "aboriginal and treaty rights".  Moreover, just as Parliament was established to ensure that law-making is founded on informed public discussion, so too the Supreme Court of Canada supports the right of Indigenous peoples to meaningful consultation on issues that concern them. In addition, we draw your attention to Article 19 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada has endorsed, and which provides that...
    "States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them."
In summary, in this country it is unquestionably illegal to use the power of the State to destroy or repress rights or grant unwarranted privileges.  Conversely, it is unquestionably legal to use all peaceful means to resolve both internal problems and external disputes...."


Monday, 17 December 2012

First ever landline #phone #competition launched in #YZF #NWT #Whitehorse #Inuvik by Iristel

Iristel launches first ever local phone competition in Canada's North for consumers and business

Choice now available in Yellowknife, Whitehorse and Inuvik for customers to switch while keeping their phone number; more to come with advanced Internet-based services for smaller communities slated for 2013

YELLOWKNIFE, NT, December 17, 2012 – Consumers and businesses in Yellowknife, Whitehorse and Inuvik can now keep their existing phone numbers and move to Iristel's advanced phone network for significantly less than they are paying currently for local phone service.

"Our network is fired up, connected to the south and ready to go for people in Canada's North who are tired of high monopoly prices for landline phone service," said Samer Bishay, President and CEO of Iristel Inc. "We're offering more advanced services at lower prices than the incumbent phone company."

The new local phone service is being sold in Yellowknife through ICE Wireless (toll-free at 855-474-7423) and Global Storm (867-873-8611), and in Whitehorse through Midarctic Technology Services (867-668-6024) and Polar Group ICT (867-668-2546) and in Inuvik New North Networks (867-777-2111.)

"Residential and business customers can cut their local service phone bill in half, keep their existing phone numbers, not have to buy new equipment or change anything in the way they make calls now. It's simple to change, simple to use and simply more affordable," Mr. Bishay said.

The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) last year broke the final phone monopoly in North America and set in place regulations allowing competition in Canada's North. Connecting its VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) network to the rest of Canada and the world via the Internet was the last piece of the puzzle for local phone choice in Canada's North.

"We just completed our final tests and our network now reaches the North with cutting-edge technology and advanced 21st century services," said Maged Bishara, Iristel's Vice-President Operations. "This is significant, not only for consumers and businesses in the North but for all of Canada because it is the first step in bridging the digital divide that has separated Canada's North from the rest of the country."

VoIP technology is more flexible and more affordable than the plain old telephone service offered by the incumbent phone company. For example, a business can get a multiline PBX phone system hosted by Iristel in the cloud and avoid paying up to $20,000 in upfront costs for office phone equipment and never pay long-distance charges for internal company calls from one office to another.

Iristel, which has been licensed since 2000 by the CRTC as a CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier), now brings its many other VoIP telecom services to the North, including Virtual Faxing that automatically converts paper faxes to digital and delivers them as email, Video Conferencing, Hosted Auto Attendant, IP Trunking and Wholesale Services.

"We are a pro-competition company," Mr. Bishay said. "If a reseller wishes to compete against the incumbent and us, that's fine. We will provide them with the necessary resources at affordable wholesale rates. We do this because we believe competition brings innovation and fairer prices for consumers and business."

Other consumer benefits include features like Call Waiting, 3-Way Calling and Voicemail for $2 month. Iristel service includes free Visual Call Display, free Caller ID and free Caller ID blocking with no activation fees, hidden charges or contracts. For a limited time only, Iristel is offering extended local calling that enables customers to call all 867 numbers for free, not only the ones residing in their town.

Through its partner company ICE Wireless, customers switching to Iristel's landline CLEC services can also get mobility phone service in the North.

About Iristel

Established in 1999, Iristel Inc. ("Iristel") was granted a carrier license by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 2000 and is one of Canada's largest VoIP service providers with a coast-to-coast-to-coast network. Iristel offers a complete portfolio of IP services in Canada, including hosted IP PBX, virtual faxing, virtual roaming, and global IP trunking products and services. For more information please visit

For more information:

Bob Brehl
Media Relations
T: 416-800-0010   




Non-Profit Housing Subsidies Canada
is a non-profit organization committed to providing support to non-profit and charitable organizations in Canada.

Non-Profit Housing Subsidies Canada seeks to build sustainability and excellence in the non-profit and charitable sectors.  By reducing the cost of living for employees, volunteers and significant donors we will provide financial incentives that help social enterprise attract and retain both the best people and sustainable funding.

It can be hard to make ends meet and keep a roof over your head when working for a non-profit.  Wages are lower than in the private sector, assuming you're paid a wage at all. We can't pay you more, but we can reduce your cost of living.
If you qualify, we use funds that have been pledged by major Canadian lenders like TD Bank, Scotiabank, CIBC and ING Direct to administer extremely low rate mortgages.  Lower interest rates mean lower monthly payments, which will help you build up equity in your home more easily, or free up cash flow for your family.Best of all it's a tax free benefit, so it's like getting a raise but keeping every dollar of it.
And, if you already use one of the banks mentioned above, we can administer the loan through your existing branch.  You don't even need to switch banks.
We're working on getting funds from more lenders too, but for now, if you're a non-profit worker, it's probably worth switching banks.

Our mandate is to help lower the cost of living for those who work in the non-profit sector.  Eligibility is limited to volunteers, employees and significant donors, all of whom have put service before their own financial interest


You've volunteered at least 40 hours in the past 12 months
You can provide a letter of reference from the NPO or Charity you volunteered for

You are a full or part-time employee of a registered NPO or charitable organization
You can provide a signed job letter or recent pay stub

You donated at least $5000 or 10% of your annual income to a registered NPO or charity last year (whichever is lower)
You can show a receipt

Is this program province specific?
Our program supports any eligible person in Canada and is not province or territory specific.

For more information see:

Friday, 14 December 2012

Chronic housing needs in the Canadian North: Inequality of opportunity in northern communities

" ...The Canadian North, which includes the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, Labrador, and Nunatsiavut, is a vast region rich in Indigenous cultures, pristine landscapes and waterways, natural resources, and increasingly diverse communities. It is also a region known for having the highest rates of chronic housing need in Canada. Across the North, where more than half the population is Inuit (including Inuvialuit), First Nations (including Innu), or Métis, there is chronic housing need (lack of affordability, inadequacy, unsuitability, unavailability) and lower rates of home ownership than in the southern provinces. The 2006 census found home ownership in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories to be 22.7 and 52.9 per cent, respectively, compared to 71 per cent in Ontario or 73 per cent in Alberta. In most small, northern communities in Canada, social housing is the main, if not only, option, with very few opportunities for home ownership. Limited opportunities for home ownership are compounded by the high rates of unemployment in many small, northern settlements. 

Recent studies find that roughly 50 per cent of occupied dwellings in Nunavut are overcrowded and/or in need of major repair. In his ten-year follow-up report on the Nunavut Land Claim, Justice Thomas Berger wrote that the fact that even 25 per cent of Nunavut youth graduate from high school is a sign of their tenacity, given the negative health and social impacts associated with living in overcrowded housing. 

Adequate, reliable, secure housing is a foundational building block to physical and mental health, economic security, positive relationships with oneself and others, and the realization of one's local and national citizenship. The persistence of chronic housing needs in northern communities continues to degrade all of these components of a healthy life. Chronic housing needs have been directly linked to severe respiratory tract infections in children, suicide, low high school graduation rates, family violence, and addiction, the rates of which are higher in the North than elsewhere in Canada. ..."

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Arctic Inspiration Prize winners will be announced LIVE STREAMED tonight at 5 pm PST

Arctic Inspiration Prize
The winners for the first annual $1M Arctic Inspiration Prize will be announced tonight at 5pm at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver. The donors of the prize, Arnold Witzig and Sima Sharifi are also from Vancouver and will be at the ceremony.
The ceremonies will be live streamed and can be viewed at the following link at 5 pm PST:



Tuesday, 11 December 2012

"Artists mentoring others, it makes the community stronger,"

Artists helping artists
Visiting artist offers advice about how to implement mentorship program
Nicole Garbutt
Northern News Services
Published Tuesday, December 11, 2012
"... "Artists mentoring others, it makes the community stronger," Spackman said. "They are not art classes but community builders and can give voice to established artists, as well as bring those closeted artists out of the corner into a safe space."
The core of the program is critique.
"The largest concern I hear from artists is they are not getting realistic critique," Spackman said.
"At home they either hear that everything they make is amazing, which they know it isn't, or they are told to get a real job. Neither is helpful to grow."
The mentorship program is an independent project designed for the community, not for any single arts organization, she said, it is a way to bridge the gaps and competition that some groups might have.
The Aurora Arts Society funded Spackman's trip North. Society members are discussing options for monitoring the administrative side of the program, but a decision about implementing the program will probably not be made until January, according to society president Marcus Jackson.
"We will be looking at it as a board and deciding. The open studio will most likely be implemented regardless of if we take it on or not," Jackson said...."
Full story:

Thursday, 6 December 2012

CRTC calls for input to fix @northwestel #telecom services in Nunavut #NWT #Yukon #Nunavik


"... NorthwesTel, which is a subsidiary of Montreal-based BCE Inc., is
often the only choice for residential and business customers in Yukon, the
Northwest Territories and Nunavut. NorthwesTel also serves northern areas
of British Columbia and Alberta.

The CRTC's goal is to provide northern Canadians with communications
services that are on par with those in the rest of the country. About
107,200 people live across the three territories. A persistent lack of
affordable telecom choices and modern networks are barriers to providing
basic services such as banking, health care, education and policing.

A robust communications infrastructure is seen as crucial to ensuring
Canada's Arctic sovereignty and spurring economic development – both
priorities for the federal government. In spite of a burst of investment
from mining and exploration companies, the dearth of communications
infrastructure remains a stumbling block for northern businesses.

"Canadians expect to have a choice of high-quality telecommunications
services, regardless of where they live," CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais
said. "Last year, we expressed concern about the services available to
northern Canadians and required NorthwesTel to develop a plan to modernize
its aging network. The consultation launched today will allow us to
conduct a comprehensive review of NorthwesTel's services and its planned

The CRTC has grown increasingly impatient with NorthwesTel in recent
years, noting it "failed to make the necessary investments in its network"
despite receiving about $20-million a year in contribution subsidies to
improve local telephone services.

That frustration culminated in a December, 2011, decision by the CRTC that
opened up the North to local telephone competition, prompting companies
such as Iristel Inc. and SSI Micro to announce plans to offer competitive

"Northwestel is proud of its long history of providing state-of-the-art
communications services to Northerners across some of the most challenging
terrain in the world, and we encourage Northerners to participate in the
CRTC consultations," spokeswoman Emily Younker said in an e-mail.

"Canadians expect to have a choice of high-quality telecommunications
services, regardless of where they live," CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais
said. "Last year, we expressed concern about the services available to
northern Canadians and required NorthwesTel to develop a plan to modernize
its aging network. The consultation launched today will allow us to
conduct a comprehensive review of NorthwesTel's services and its planned
Full story


Arctic Infrastructure from Top of the World Telegraph 5 December 2012

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Editor - Top of the World Telegraph <>
Date: 5 December 2012 16:36
Subject: Arctic Infrastructure

From transportation to communication, from safety to trade. 
Learn more about the Institute of the North

Is this email displaying incorrectly?

Want to see the Top of the World Telegraph each week? Subscribe

28 November - 5 December 2012: Volume 8, Issue 44 Facebook Twitter


Tar Sands Oil Boom Drives Push for A Northern Pipeline
By Ed Struzik, Yale Environment 360 - 29 NOV 2012 - Canada

The Great Bear Rainforest is a 27,000-square-mile wilderness that stretches from southern British Columbia to the Alaska border. One of the last undisturbed temperate rainforests in the world, it is home to cougars, wolves, wolverine, grizzly bears, and the iconic Kermode, a unique subspecies of black bear with a recessive gene that is responsible for its fur being white. The rainforest is far from the sprawling oil sands mines of Alberta. But if the Canadian government, the Alberta government, and the Canadian oil and pipeline company, Enbridge Inc., have their way, vast amounts of tar sands oil will one day be coursing through a 731-mile pipeline to a shipping terminal in the Great Bear Rainforest. There, giant tankers will transport the oil through British Columbia's clean, frigid coastal waters to China and other parts of Asia.

By Henry Huntington, Alaska Business Monthly - 1 DEC 2012
When it comes to energy and other development in the remote and challenging U.S. Arctic, science can be a particularly useful guide for making decisions.  Part of the scientific process, after all, is taking into account not only what we know, but also what we don't know – and leaving a healthy margin for error. We can never know everything about an ecosystem or even a single species. Instead, we make estimates, assess our confidence in our knowledge, and ideally act with caution. Unfortunately, uncertainty can also be used as an argument to forge ahead rather than a reason to move wisely.

Navy tests global radio system in Arctic
By Hannah Heimbuch, The Arctic Sounder - 30 NOV 2012 - Alaska/U.S.
Navy engineers set up shop across Alaska's Arctic last Wednesday for a first-time test of a critical communications system. The Navy was pleased to announce a successful transmission, one that connects individual radios across thousands of miles in inclement weather conditions. They were able to connect engineers in Barrow, Kotzebue and Anchorage, to Navy headquarters in Colorado and Virginia — all via handheld devices. "We provided the ability for personnel to communicate in the polar regions above the Arctic Circle and provide reach-back, a paramount capability that otherwise does not exist at the tactical level," said DTCS technical manager, Igor Marchosky in a Navy release. "We tested the global architecture part of the DTCS system, and it worked as designed."

In Case You Missed it:
The team at the Institute of the North has been busy over the last two weeks exploring significant Arctic Infrastructure: first we hosted the Iceland Policy Tour - where Alaskans learned about geothermal and hydroelectric energy development; currently, staff are hosting the Arctic Infrastructure Workshop, also in Iceland - where colleagues from around the Circumpolar North are exploring Arctic maritime and aviation infrastructure and response capacity as part of the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group's project titled Arctic Marine and Aviation Transportation Infrastructure Initiative (AMATII).

Send a message to the Top of the World at

Decoding the Arctic: Leader Insights

Our Present — Our Future:
The Logic of Expanding Rail Transport to Northwest Alaska
By Norman Stadem, InternBering, Former Resource Conservation and Development Coordinator, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service

When exploring infrastructure development in the Arctic, it is impossible to overlook transportation infrastructure and our ability to move around the North. Effective modes of transportation in the Arctic are important not only for convenience and accessibility to remote regions, but also for security and emergency-response, for communication and governance, and for trade. An ever increasing topic of discussion among Arctic nations, ideas for improving transportation infrastructure span a range of technologies. Take a look at this argument for increased railway development in rural areas of Alaska, where cost, control, and safety all seem to add up in support of railroads:

"Clearly, the critical imperative for Northwest Alaska is to build efficient transportation infrastructure networks in support of the vast regions of rural Alaska, in particular while costs remain relatively benign. It has been about a century since the federal government completed construction of the Alaska Railroad. Give or take a few miles, the track extends approximately 600 miles — Fairbanks to Seward. That's an investment of about 6 miles of mainline track per year over the past century. If Northwest Alaska is to experience future development, commensurate with its resource potential, there is no question that expansion of the statewide rail network is needed to "open" the country to efficient development. Economic development of modern and future Alaska must be supported with more modern, robust and efficient freight transport. Obviously, most passengers and "just-in-time" deliveries will likely prefer the convenience and speed of air travel. But for heavy, bulky or large volume materials, there is no substitute for the versatility, capability and efficiency of railroad." Read More...

Remember, you can view past opinion editorials from established Arctic experts and leaders on our website.

Energy & Power

CBC News - 5 DEC 2012 - Canada 
A new report released by a House of Commons committee sheds light on the rocky road to resource development in the North. The report, called Resource Development in Northern Canada, says an inadequate energy system and a lack of skilled workers make the North a challenging place to invest. But some developers say unresolved land claims are what really stand in their way. 
Russia Is Running Out of Cheap Oil
International Herald Tribune - 5 DEC 2012 - Russia
Rosneft's purchase of TNK-BP comes at a crucial time for the Russian oil industry — and for the Kremlin. If Russia is going to keep up production, it must now move on to places like the Arctic offshore and the remote tundra of East Siberia, places that are colder, harsher, farther out, and in a word, more costly. Russia is not running out of oil, but it is running out of cheap oil. That's where Rosneft comes in. By next year it will be the largest publicly traded oil company in the world, with over 54 percent of Russian production.

Iceland issues offshore licenses
Offshore Magazine - 3 DEC 2012 - Iceland
Iceland's government has provisionally awarded Faroe Petroleum operatorship of offshore exploration licenses under the country's second licensing round. These are in the Dreiki area, and comprise seven blocks south of the Jan Mayen ridge offshore northeast Iceland, within the Arctic Circle. The Jan Mayen microcontinent is between the conjugate margins of East Greenland and the Norwegian continental shelf.

Norway to Search for Oil in Dragon Zone
Iceland Review - 3 DEC 2012 - Norway & Iceland
Norwegian state-owned oil company Petoro will take part in the search for oil in the Dragon Zone off Northeast Iceland. The National Energy Authority of Iceland (NEA) completed the processing of application for licenses for exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the Dragon Zone today.

Yamal LNG ahead of schedule
Barents Observer - 3 DEC 2012 - Russia
According to regional authorities, the Yamal LNG company is ahead of schedule in its development of the huge Arctic project. Located along the Ob Bay, on the eastern shore of the Yamal Peninsul, the Sabetta port is a key component of the Yamal LNG project. When completed, reportedly in 2016, the port will handle specially designed Arctic LNG carriers shipping liquefied gas from the field to European, South American and Asian markets.

Feds give Mary River project green light
CBC News - 3 DEC 2012 - Canada
The federal government has given Baffinland's Mary River Project the green light to move ahead with its iron ore mine on north Baffin Island. Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation proposed the Mary River project, which would be a massive open-pit mine about 160 kilometres south of Pond Inlet. The project involves the construction of a road, a railway and a deep-water port and mine site infrastructure.

Will airborne windmills revolutionize rural Alaska energy?
Alaska Dispatch - 3 Dec 2012 - Alaska/U.S.
Increasingly, communities across the state are turning to wind turbines to help add diversity to fossil fuels and to lower costs. By this time next year, a new type of wind turbine may be hovering in the Alaska skies -- towerless and floated inside a high-tech helium balloon to an altitude as high as 1,000 feet. Boston-based Altaeros Energies has just landed a $740,000 grant from Alaska to give its invention a try in the 49th state.

IPCC chair lauds Finnish clean technology
Yle Uutiset - 3 DEC 2012 - Finland
Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is visiting Finland this week. He is keen to remind people that heavier precipitation and wilder storms are inevitable in a changing climate. Ahead of a visit to the Energy and Resources Institute's northern office in eastern Finland, the professor lauded Finnish clean technology, but said there was much still to do in combating carbon emissions.

Flint Hills drops LNG
Petroleum News - 2 DEC 2012 - Alaska/U.S.
Although still amenable to using natural gas, Flint Hills Resources LLC is backing away from leading a project to truck liquefied natural gas from the North Slope to the Interior. The refiner recently terminated its memorandum of understanding with the electric utility Golden Valley Electric Association, citing the improved economics of its internal energy use as well as the belief that a third party should be leading any efforts going forward.

Trouble beneath the ice
The Economist - 1 DEC 2012
As more and more companies venture into the oil- and gas-rich waters north of the Arctic Circle, they are being forced to imagine another oil-spill scenario, one in which the response effort is impeded by storms, fog, high winds and massive drifting ice floes; in which visibility is minimal, where the nearest coast guard station is over 1,000 miles away and where spilled oil accumulates on, in and under the ice. Such considerations have led to the development of new technologies to detect and deal with spilled oil in remote, icy seas.

Emails say Shell containment dome 'crushed like a beer can' in test
Alaska Dispatch - 30 NOV 2012 - Alaska/U.S.
Royal Dutch Shell's containment dome was "crushed like a beer can" earlier this year in Puget Sound, during failed sea-trial tests that raised questions about the oil giant's ability to respond to an oil spill in the U.S. Arctic Ocean. The beer-can observation belongs to Mark Fesmire, head of the Alaska office of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). 

Kodiak legislators head to Iceland on Institute of North trip
Kodiak Daily Mirror - 29 NOV 2012 - Alaska/U.S. & Iceland

Kodiak's delegation to the Alaska Legislature, Sen. Gary Stevens and Rep. Alan Austerman, are in Iceland this week on a policy tour coordinated by the Institute of the North. Also included on the trip are students from the University of Alaska, policymakers and other legislators. According to accounts posted by the Institute of the North online, the Iceland tour is focused on energy policy and includes tours of hydroelectric and geothermal power plants. 

Transportation & Infrastructure

Barents Observer - 4 DEC 2012 - Russia 
The state-owned China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) will join the development of Belkomur, the railway connection between Perm and Arkhangelsk. The turning point in revitalizing the fifteen-year-old idea of establishing the connection was a meeting of Komi governor Aleksandr Burov with Chinese government and business representatives in Shanghai on the 23rd of November. The realization of the Belkomur project, with a price of €15 billion, would mean a shorter connection between the Urals and the North-West of Russia, allowing a new route for trans-Siberian cargo.

Arctic Transport Workshop in Reykjavík
Iceland Review - 3 DEC 2012 - Iceland
The Institute of the North is currently hosting a workshop on Arctic transportation infrastructure in Reykjavík. The focus of the workshop is response capacity and sustainable development in the Arctic. Increased capacity to respond by sea and air is considered necessary in light of increased shipping traffic in Arctic waters. The Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group approved a project to assess transportation infrastructure which seeks to evaluate infrastructure, including ports, airports and response capability, by looking at maritime and aviation assets in the Arctic.

N.W.T. celebrates Deh Cho Bridge opening
CBC News - 2 DEC 2012 - Canada
About 100 people walked across the Deh Cho Bridge near Fort Providence, N.W.T., Friday for its official opening. The bridge is the first year-round road link across the Mackenzie River to communities in N.W.T.'s North Slave region, including the capital Yellowknife. It replaces a ferry and a winter ice crossing. The 1 km-long bridge cost $202 million to build and has an expected design life of 75 years. Check out the video of the event.

Breaking the ice
The Economist - 1 DEC 2012
Traffic is increasing on the Northern Sea Route, the icy passage along Russia's Arctic coast. Global warming has opened a route between Europe and Asia that can cut journey times by three weeks. This year some 50 vessels have made the voyage. The Ob River, which left Hammerfest in Norway on November 7th, is the first to carry liquefied natural gas. It is heading for Japan, where the Fukushima nuclear disaster has led to an increase in demand. Shale-gas discoveries in America mean that European producers are looking to Asian markets.

Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T., asked to conserve water
CBC News - 29 NOV 2012 - Canada
Residents of Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T., are being asked to conserve water after the community's pumping station broke down Monday. "All community members should have water in their tanks at this point, but we're just asking them to conserve what they have," said Marjorie Dobson, SAO of Tsiigehtchic's community corporation. At this time of year, the water truck cannot visit from Fort McPherson because the Tsiigehtchic ice crossing is open only to light traffic.

Nunavut Planning Commission set to tackle giant task
CBC News - 29 NOV 2012 - Canada
The Nunavut Planning Commission has begun to tackle the massive task of creating a single map to guide all future development in the territory. The task is daunting — Nunavut is more than two million square kilometres in size. It's home to huge deposits of gold, diamonds, metals, oil and gas. It's also where people have lived and hunted for generations.

Army closes Arctic airport
Barents Observer - 29 NOV 2012 - Russia
It appears to have come as a big surprise to regional authoritities when the Russian Defence Ministry decided to close the Tiksi airport, subsequently leaving about 5000 people living in the remote Russian town without their key lifeline to the outside world. In a meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Borisov was told that the airport was closed because of a necessary upgrade of the runway. The upgrade will start in 2013, and the airport will be fully back up running from 2015, Minister Shoigu said.

Mat-Su's ice-breaking ferry may have a job in the tropics
Anchorage Daily News - 28 NOV 2012 - Alaska/U.S.
The Mat-Su Borough wants to cut its losses and give the boat to the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The $80 million vessel, named the Susitna, was born out of a unique partnership between the U.S. Navy, which wanted a prototype for a fast military landing craft, and the borough, which wanted an ice-breaking ferry to transport commuters across Knik Arm. Neither Mat-Su nor Anchorage have landings for a car-carrying ferry, though the borough did build a $4.5 million ferry terminal.

Safety, Security & Sovereignty

Battle for Arctic key for Russia's sovereignty – Rogozin
RT - 4 DEC 2012 - Russia
Russia may lose its sovereignty in about 40 years if it fails to clearly set out its national interests in the Arctic, believes the country's Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. "It's crucially important for us to set goals for our national interests in this region. If we don't do that, we will lose the battle for resources which means we'll also lose in a big battle for the right to have sovereignty and independence," Rogozin stated at the Marine Board meeting in Moscow.

Arctic naval facility enters design phase
CBC News - 4 DEC 2012 - Canada
Progress is being made on the Nanisivik Naval Facility near Arctic Bay, Nunavut. Prime Minister Stephen Harper first announced the $100 million project in 2007. Earlier this year, plans for the facility were significantly scaled back. Officials blamed the high cost of building in the North saying the $100 million committed to the project won't go as far as predicted. 

Metso to Equip New Type of Icebreaking Rescue Vessel with DNA Automation System
World Maritime News - 3 DEC 2012 - Finland & Russia

A completely new type of icebreaking emergency rescue vessel designed for demanding ice conditions will operate using the multilingual Metso DNA automation system. Metso Automation will deliver a control automation system for an icebreaking emergency and rescue vessel to be constructed by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard together with Yantar Shipyard. The owner of the vessel is the Russian Ministry of Transport who will operate the vessel in the Gulf of Finland.

Canada focuses on development at Arctic Council; experts fear wrong approach
CBC News - 3 DEC 2012 - Canada
Canada will use its two years as leader of the circumpolar world to promote development and defend its policies, suggest federal politicians and documents. But Arctic experts and those involved with the Arctic Council worry that's the wrong approach at a time when the diplomatic body is dealing with crucial international issues from climate change to a treaty on oil spill prevention.

Myers argues for UAF oil spill research
Petroleum News - 2 DEC 2012 - Alaska/U.S.
Although there has been much focus on the risks associated with exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic offshore, it is necessary to take a broader view of arctic oil spill contingency planning, addressing risks associated with general arctic shipping and looking at risk management for the future development and production of oil resources, Mark Myers, vice chancellor of research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, told a meeting of the Alaska Geological Society. Myers has been promoting the establishment of an oil spill research center at the university.

Motorized infantry brigade to Northern Fleet
Barents Observer - 30 NOV 2012 - Russia
The Northern Fleet today announced that the 200. independent motorized infantry brigade will become part of the Northern Fleet. The brigade was planned to become one of two so-called Arctic Brigades, with soldiers trained in a special program and equipped with modern personal equipment for military operations in Arctic conditions. The Arctic Brigades were postponed until 2015, when Russia receives new vehicles designed for operations in the Arctic.

Canada and Kingdom of Denmark Reach Tentative Agreement on Lincoln Sea Boundary
Foreign Affairs & International Trade Canada - 28 NOV 2012 - Canada
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister of the Arctic Council for Canada, and Villy Søvndal, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Denmark announced that negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on where to establish the maritime boundary in the Lincoln Sea, the body of water north of Ellesmere Island and Greenland. This will resolve an issue between the two countries that arose in the 1970s. More here.
Become a Telegraph underwriter. Monthly sponsors ($250-$1,000) have their name prominently displayed below the logos of annual underwriters ($1,000 or more). The Telegraph is distributed to over 1,500 subscribers around the world. Please contact Nils Andreassen at or 907.786.6324 to feature your company or organization. 

Upcoming Events

At the Institute

Around the Arctic

January 2013
February 2013
April 2013
  • 16-19 | Houston, Texas, United States | LNG 17 (Early bird registration ends 5 Nov 2012)
Copyright © 2012 Institute of the North, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email as a subscriber to the Top of the World Telegraph. Thank you for your readership!
Our mailing address is:
Institute of the North
1675 C Street, Suite 106
Anchorage, Alaska 99501

Add us to your address book

 unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences 


Monday, 3 December 2012

Canada to focus on development at Arctic Council; experts fear wrong approach

Canada to focus on development at Arctic Council; experts fear wrong approach

"....Canada is still seen in some countries as a nation intent on militarizing the North, in part because of the Harper government's aggressive "use it or lose it" rhetoric on Arctic sovereignty. "That's still readily associated with Canada." Duane Smith of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, which sits as a permanent participant on the council, says his group hopes Canada will promote discussions on subjects such as food security -- not just in the context of poverty, but also in relation to the ability to hunt and maintain traditional food sources in the face of a changing Arctic climate. "I don't mean food security from the grocery store, but sustainable ecosystems that the Inuit rely and depend on."..."

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The MediaMentor

Check out my Photosynth panorama!

I created them with the Photosynth app on my iOS device,

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Gordon Foundation Newsletter - Autumn 2012

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation <>
Date: 29 November 2012 12:54
Subject: Gordon Foundation Newsletter - Autumn 2012

Autumn 2012 View this email in your browser

President's Message

Thomas S. Axworthy


Preserving Canada's water. Empowering Canada's North
- The Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation

Thomas S. AxworthyIn achieving the Gordon Foundation's goal of "Preserving Canada's water. Empowering Canada's North," the Foundation has re-directed its program spending so that more than two-thirds of our activities have a northern focus. The Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship Program will recruit a new cohort of Fellows in early 2013. The Mackenzie River Basin Initiative supported the Rosenberg International Forum on Water in the fall of 2012 to draw international attention to the significance of the Mackenzie. The Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program will be hosting its annual conference on January 29-30, 2013 on the theme Arctic People and Security.

In carrying out these initiatives, we strive to ensure that northerners are fully engaged. Members of our Board, like Mary Simon, and partnerships like ones we share with the Small Change Fund's North of 55 Fund, are crucial in this regard. Designed to support small-scale projects in the North, the Fund's attention to capacity building, leadership and networking is well aligned with the Foundation's goals. 
Empowering the North means giving northerners themselves the tools to create their own futures. That is the underlying mission of all of our northern programs.

Message from the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Gordon Foundation is pleased to welcome two new members: Willa Black, vice-president, corporate affairs and corporate social responsibility (CSR) for Cisco Canada; and Mary Simon, chairperson of the National Committee on Inuit Education.

Willa Black

Willa BlackWilla Black is responsible for strategies designed to drive Cisco's external brand relevance and transformational impact across key constituencies. She leads initiatives in support of CSR, building strategic partnerships and reinforcing the company's role as an organization committed to social advancement across governments, non-governmental organizations, and communities of all kinds with a focus on Education and Healthcare. Black is a 30-year veteran of the public relations and marketing industry, and has been with Cisco since 1999. In 2011 she was named one of Canada's Top 25 Women of Influence. 

Mary Simon

Mary SimonMary Simon has advanced critical social, economic and human rights for Canadian Inuit regionally, nationally and internationally. Over four decades she has held senior leadership positions including, president of Makivik Corporation (the Land Claims Organisation for the Inuit of Nunavik), president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Canadian Ambassador For Circumpolar Affairs as well as to the Kingdom of Denmark. More recently for six years, she was the president of Canada's National Inuit organization, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Gold Order of Greenland.
share on Twitter

Toronto | January 29-30, 2013

The goal of this conference is to explore different ways of conceptualizing and understanding security in the Arctic in order to develop and implement sounder, more productive, and more inclusive public policies in the North.
The traditional view of Arctic security is focused primarily on military defence, and is habitually seen as distinct from local, northern understandings of security that are often inclusive of economic and social concerns.
This conference is designed to engage decision-makers and the academic community in a conversation about how to better integrate the needs and wants of northern residents into the broader Arctic security debate.
Register here

Arctic Security

1,056 tweets
following 633 people

Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy

Premier Bob McLeodPresented by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation and Simon Fraser University's Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT), the prestigious Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy convened in Vancouver, BC from Sept. 5 to 7, 2012 to discuss the national and global importance of the Mackenzie River Basin and what can be done to protect it going forward.

Along with presentations from the Honourable Bob McLeod, Premier of the Northwest Territories, and The Honourable Michael Miltenberger, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, panellists were also invited to a special presentation by Dr. Lance Lesack, professor of limnology and biogeochemistry at Simon Fraser University. The lecture, entitled "The Mackenzie Basin: Why it Matters to Canada and the World", is available online in video and PDF formats.
The outcomes of the three-day discussions are currently being compiled into a report to be released in early 2013.


Munk-Gordon Arctic Speaker Series welcomes J. Michael Miltenberger

Minister J. Michael Miltenberger, GNWT
Northwest Territories Devolution and the Impacts
on Water

December 10, 2012
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Speaker Series is pleased to host Minister J. Michael Miltenberger of the NWT as our December keynote speaker. Minister Miltenberger will review an initiative currently underway that could see authority over NWT's land, water and resources migrate from Ottawa to the NWT. He will highlight the responsibilities of water management as they currently exist in the NWT and will discuss how this might change when and if this authority is devolved.
Register here

Speech by Thomas S. Axworthy
"The North's Contending Visions"

Thomas S. Axworthy
The North's Contending Visions
Senior Fellows Luncheon
Massey College
University of Toronto
Delivered Nov. 14, 2012

Dr. Axworthy's speech describes four contending visions of the North: a military frontier, a treasure trove, a wilderness park and a homeland. In outlining these contending visions Dr. Axworthy draws heavily on his experiences with the 2012 Jane Glassco Arctic Fellows, the work of the Gordon Foundation, as well as the works of prominent northerners. In his analysis he concludes that the North as a Homeland is most apt, as it reflects the realities on the ground.
Download here