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Numerous organizations work in the Arctic on indigenous peoples rights and other subjects. They range from the Permanent Forum of the United Nations, which is of course a global organization.

The Arctic Council is a big organization for the indigenous people, it has a working group working on their issues amongst other. It is the Sustainable Development Working Group but one of its goal is to "protect and enhance the environment and the economies, culture and health of Indigenous Peoples and Arctic communities."

United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The Permanent Forum was established by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 2000/22 on 28 July 2000. In this resolution, the UNPFII was given a mandate to discuss indigenous issues relating to economic and social development, culture, the environment, education, health and human rights.

The main objective of the UNPFII is to provide expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to the UN system through the Economic and Social Council; raise awareness and promote the integration and coordination of relevant activities within the UN system; and prepare and disseminate information on indigenous issues.

The Permanent Forum is comprised of sixteen independent experts of which eight are nominated by governments and eight directly by indigenous organizations.


International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs

IWGIA was founded by human rights activists and anthropologists in 1968. The first links established were with Brazilian and Paraguayan activists. Soon after, North American Indian activists and peoples from the Arctic, Oceania and Asia joined the work. Today indigenous peoples of Russia and Africa are also involved in IWGIA's global network.

IWGIA supports indigenous peoples' pursuit for human rights, self-determination, right to territory, control of land and resources, cultural integrity, and the right to development by collaborating with indigenous peoples' organizations and documenting and publishing material on indigenous peoples' struggle for survival and recognition.

IWGIA's work with indigenous peoples is guided by a rights based approach. Human rights are a key principle for IWGIA and considered as a fundamental tool for improving the economic and political situation of indigenous peoples.


Arctic Council

The Arctic Council was established in 1996. The Arctic Council "Affirms its commitment to the well-being of the inhabitants of the Arctic, including special recognition of the special relationship and unique contributions to the Arctic of Indigenous Peoples and their communities." It also "recognizes the traditional knowledge of the Indigenous People to the Arctic and their communities and takes note of its importance" and "desires to ensure full consultation with and the involvement of Indigenous People and their communities and other inhabitants of the Arctic."


The Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council

The goal of the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) is to propose and adopt steps to be taken by the Arctic States to advance sustainable development in the Arctic, including opportunities to protect and enhance the environment and the economies, culture and health of Indigenous Peoples and Arctic communities, as well as to improve the environmental, economic and social conditions of Arctic communities as a whole.


Permanent Participants to the Arctic Council

Indigenous peoples’ organizations have been granted Permanent Participants status in the Arctic Council. The Permanent Participants have full consultation rights in connection with the Council’s negotiations and decisions.


Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat - IPS

The Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat is a support Secretariat for the International Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations that are Permanent Participants to the Arctic Council . IPS does not speak for the Permanent Participants. Instead, it creates opportunities for the Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations to speak for themselves, and helps provide them with necessary information and materials.


Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North - RAIPON

RAIPON was created in 1990 at the First Congress of Indigenous Peoples of the North. The Association was originally called the "Association of Peoples of the North of the USSR" and united 26 indigenous groups of the North Russia. Today, RAIPON unites 41 indigenous groups whose total population is around 250,000 people. These peoples are represented by 34 regional and ethnic organizations that have the authority to represent these groups both in Russia and in the international community.


Aleut International Association - AIA

The Aleut International Association represents Aleut on the Russian and American Aleutian, Pribilof and Commander Islands. It is an Alaska Native not-for-profit corporation, 501(c)(3), registered in the State of Alaska, United States of America, in 1998. AIA is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of four Alaskan and four Russian Aleuts under the leadership of a president.


Arctic Athabaskan Council - AAC

The Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC) is an international treaty organization established to represent the interests of United States and Canadian Athabaskan member First Nation governments in Arctic Council fora, and to foster a greater understanding of the common heritage of all Athabaskan peoples of Arctic North America. In total, Arctic Athabaskan founding member governments represent approximately 32,000 indigenous peoples of Athabaskan descent residing in Arctic and Sub-Arctic North America. As more member governments from both the United States (Alaska) and Canada join, this number is expected to increase to approximately 40,000.


The Saami Council
The Saami Council is a non-governmental Saami organization (NGO), with member organizations in Finland, Russia, Norway and Sweden. Since its foundation in 1956 the Saami Council has actively dealt with Saami policy tasks. The primary aims of the Saami Council are the promotion of Saami rights and interests in the four countries having Saami population, to consolidate the feeling of affinity among the Saami people, to attain recognition for the Saami as one nation and to promote economic, social and cultural rights of the Saami in the legislation of the four states, Norway, Sweden, Russia and Finland. Saami Council renders opinions and makes proposals on questions concerning Saami people’s rights, language and culture.


Inuit Circumpolar Council

The Inuit Circumpolar Council is a transnational non-governmental organization representing 150.000 Inuit across the Circumpolar North. The ICC began originally as an Inuit Circumpolar Conference, first held in 1977, and gradually evolved to become a Council in the 10th General Assembly meeting of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference in 2006 in Utqia?vik, Alaska. The ICC represents today four different Inuit regional organizations in Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia. The ICC Alaska consists of Inuit from the North Slope Borough, Northwest Arctic Borough, the Bering Straits Region, and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region and the ICC Canada represents the four land-claim regions, namely Inuvialuit, Labrador, Nunavik, and Nunavut.

Gwich'in Council International - GCI

The Gwich'in Council International (GCI) was established as a non-profit organization in 1999 by the Gwich'in Tribal Council in Inuvik, NWT, to ensure all regions of the Gwich'in Nation in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska are represented at the Arctic Council, as well as to play an active and significant role in the development of policies that relate to the Circumpolar Arctic. GCI has a number of priorities that relate to the environment, youth, culture and tradition, social and economic development and education.


Other indigenous organizations in the Arctic

Conference of Arctic Parliamentarians - CPAR

The Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region is a parliamentary body comprising delegations appointed by the national parliaments of the Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, U.S.A.) and the European Parliament. The main aim of the Conference is to promote the work of the Arctic Council and it participates in the meetings of the Council as an observer. The Conference adopts a statement with recommendations to the Arctic Council and to the governments of the eight Arctic states and the European Commission. The Standing Committee closely monitors how the governments implement the Conference Statement, and take new initiatives to further Arctic cooperation.


Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami - ITK

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami is the national Inuit organization in Canada, representing four Inuit regions – Nunatsiavut (Labrador), Nunavik (northern Quebec), Nunavut, and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Northwest Territories. Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, formerly Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, was founded in 1971 to represent and promote the interests of Inuit. In its history, ITK has been effective and successful at advancing Inuit interests by forging constructive and co-operative relationships with different levels of government in Canada, especially in the area of comprehensive land claim settlements, and representing Inuit during the constitutional talks of the 1980s.


The Grand Council of the Crees

The Grand Council of the Crees is the political body that represents the approximately (2003) 14,000 Crees or “Eeyouch” (“Eenouch” – Mistissini dialect), as they call themselves, of eastern James Bay and Southern Hudson Bay in Northern Quebec. The Grand Council has twenty members: a Grand Chief and Deputy-Grand Chief elected at large by the Eeyouch, the chiefs elected by each of the nine Cree communities, and one other representative from each community. The present Grand Chief is Matthew Mukash and the Deputy Grand Chief is Ashley Iserhoff. The Council’s head office is in the Cree community of Nemaska, although it also has offices in Montreal and Ottawa.


The Innu Nation

The Innu Nation is the organization that formally represents the Innu of Labrador, approximately 2200 persons, most of whom live in the two Innu communities of Sheshatshiu and Natuashish. The Sheshatsiu Innu live in the community of Sheshatshiu while the Mushuau Innu live in the community of Natuashish. Some Innu also live in other communities within Labrador and on the Island part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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