348 The Circumpolar Challenge By Rhoda Innusuk* There are a number of reasons for emphasizing a cultural orientation. First, un- less the question of culture itself is the topic of discussion, the issue of indige- nous cultures is rarely afforded serious in-depth consideration by national and international decision-makers. Second, cultural protection and development should be a primary responsibility and concern of international law. Third, if indigenous cultures are not made an essential focal point when development de- cisions are taken concerning Arctic and Nordic regions, undesirable assimila- tion will continue to be the result. All who have an interest in the future of the Arctic and of indigenous peoples must be acutely aware of the importance of fully integrating environmental and cultural factors in plans and decisions on economic, military and other matters. In discussing northern evolution and the circumpolar challenges before us, I will briefly cover the following: i) the need for a broad cultural framework in dealing with circumpolar matters; ii) some major problems and concerns currently confronting indigenous socie- ties in polar regions; and iii) steps that can be taken to shape the North in a manner and form com- patible with the aspirations, values
Nordic Journal of International Law – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1988
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