Arctic Encounter: Over 30 Nationalities Gather in Alaska to Discuss the Arctic

Anchorage, Alaska.
Next week, the annual Arctic Encounter conference commences in Anchorage. (Photo: Paxson Woelber/Wikimedia Commons)

On April 10th, the largest Arctic policy conference kicks off in North America.

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Next week, decision-makers, diplomats, indigenous leaders, and researchers from over 30 countries will gather in Anchorage, Alaska.

The experts will participate in the Arctic Encounter conference and discuss Arctic policy, innovation, and geopolitics, among other topics.

There will be lectures, panel discussions, and cultural events.

The conference's stated objective is to confront the shared interests and concerns of the United States and the global community regarding what they refer to as the last emerging frontier – the Arctic.

Jubilee year

Next week, ten years have passed since the conference's first edition, which will be celebrated.

The program includes artist and director Elle Márjá Eira. The Sami artist from Kautokeino in Northern Norway will perform and participate in a panel discussion about how and which stories are told about the Arctic in the media. HNN's Editor, Arne O. Holm, will also participate in the same panel.

Polly Andrews, an artist, poet, and actress from the Alaskan indigenous people of Yupik, will also perform at the conference.

"Today, with gratitude to the supportive community across the circumpolar North, we celebrate not just a milestone, but a shared spirit of collaboration," wrote the founder of Arctic Encounter, Rachel Kallander, as the program was launched.

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Ambassador visits

Furthermore, several ambassadors will make the trip to Anchorage.

One of them is Norway's ambassador in Washington D.C., Anniken R. Krutnes, who will participate in a panel discussion about the oil and gas industry, according to the Arctic Encounter website.

Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski will also be present to address connections and mobilize global resources to tackle important needs and challenges in the Arctic.

Norwegian State Secretary Eivind Vad Petersson (Labor) and Canada's Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal will also be on the panel with Murkowski.

Slovenia's Ambassador to the US, Iztok Mirošič, is also coming to discuss climate change, which is happening at a record pace in the Arctic regions.

Mirošič is joined by Sue Natali, the Senior Researcher at the Woodwell Climate Research Center, Brendan Kelly, the Executive Director of the Study of Environmental Arctic Change, and Raina Thiele, the Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Alaska Affairs and Strategic Priorities.

Iceland's Ambassador to the US, Bergdís Ellertsdóttir, will also be there to put health and food security in Arctic communities on the agenda.

During the panel discussion, Ellertsdóttir and several other experts will discuss the challenges the inhabitants face regarding food security, housing, and public health.

Northern Norwegian participants

UiT, the Arctic University of Norway, is represented by two participants who will contribute to a panel discussion about available education for the Arctic indigenous peoples.

The High North Center, an international research, education, and communication center, is among those who have signed up.

High North News will also be present to cover the conference.

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