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Alaskan Inuit Food Sovereignty Initiative



Project Background

The Alaskan Inuit Food Sovereignty Initiative is a three-year effort being facilitated by the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Alaska. ICC Alaska member organizations and co-management organizations are leading this effort. The Initiative was a direct call to action from Alaskan Inuit and follows up on the ICC Wildlife Management Summit. It also evokes the recommendations reflected in VILLAGE JOURNEY, the Report of the Alaska Native Review Commission, conducted by ICC from 1983-1985; the Alaskan Inuit Food Security Conceptual Framework; and is being carried out alongside the Food Sovereignty and Self-Governance (FSSG) project.

It is centered on creating a movement to unify and organize Alaskan Inuit through three regional meetings and one statewide Summit with the ultimate goal of developing an Alaskan Inuit Food Sovereignty Management Action Plan to advance food sovereignty across our four regions. The Action Plan will empower our people to seek reform and justice and is propelled by self-determination and Indigenous rights to collectively work towards securing access and management rights over our traditional food resources, to create long-term systematic and policy change that will benefit Inuit communities throughout the North Slope, Northwest, Bering Strait, and Yukon-Kuskokwim regions of Alaska.

As an element of the objectives described, through the Alaskan Inuit Food Sovereignty Initiative, we hope to gain recognition of and respect for our rights to access and manage our wildlife and other resources in Alaska to ensure that we can realize the collective aspiration for international collaboration of wildlife management across Inuit Nunaat.

The Initiative is led by a 17-member Steering Committee, comprised of members from Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, Maniilaq Association, Kawerak, Inc., Association of Village Council Presidents, North Slope Borough, Northwest Arctic Borough, Alaska Beluga Whale Committee, Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council, Alaska Nannut Co-Management Council, Eskimo Walrus Commission, Ice Seal Committee,  Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, as well as the ICC Alaska President, ICC Alaska Elder Board Member, a Youth representative, and a hunter representative from the North Slope region.

To date, we held two regional Initiative Steering Committee meetings, one in Utqiagvik in January of 2019 to launch the Initiative and one in Bethel, Alaska in April 2019 to plan and prepare for the Alaskan Inuit Food Sovereignty Summit, which was held in Nome, Alaska on September 10-12, 2019. The third and final Steering Committee meeting will be held in Kotzebue, Alaska at a later date (TBD post-COVID-19).

This Initiative is made possible through a Social and Economic Development (SEDS) grant from the Administration for Native Americans, Grant #90NA8335-01-00.

For more information:
Vernae Angnaboogok, Cultural Sustainability Advisor
Phone: (907) 274-9058 Email: vernae@iccalaska.org