AVCP and Y-K Region gain global support in the fight against Salmon Crisis

by AVCP Staff

Arctic People’s Conference Declaration calls for equitable management of resources to ensure food security.

Ilulissat, Greenland hosted the 50th Anniversary for the Arctic Peoples’ Conference with 58 Delegates from across the Arctic, including Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark. The meeting was held July 20-21, 2023, representing twenty-one (21) organizations of Indigenous Peoples.

The Association of Village Council Presidents is a member of ICC-Alaska. As members, AVCP Delegates participated in all ICC Alaska gatherings, events and programs. This includes official participation as delegates in ICC General Assemblies. The AVCP Executive Board appointed the Delegates to participate in the meeting, including AVCP Chairman Thad Tikiun Jr., Vice-Chair James Paul, Traditional Chief, and Chief Executive Officer.

Our Region also brought staff to support our work in Greenland, including translators, support staff and cultural performers to represent all Alaska.

In Ilulissat, the Alaska Caucus met and appointed Vivian Korthuis, AVCP CEO and Delegate to be the Head of Delegation for Alaska. CEO Korthuis led the Caucus meetings, participated in the negotiations and spoke at the meetings on behalf of ICC Alaska. The ICC Delegation’s Delegates represent Inuit living in Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and Russia.

The second panel on Day One of the Arctic Peoples’ Conference focused on updates from various international organizations, including Gary Harrison, Arctic Athabascan Council; Aluki Kotierk, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; Gunn-Britt Retter, Working Group of Local Communities, and Indigenous Peoples’ Coalition on Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems; Lisa Koperqualuk, International Maritime Organization; and Nicole Wojciechowski, Central Arctic Ocean Fisheries Agreement Process.

The outcome of the 50th Anniversary of the Arctic People’s Conference was a document entitled, “Statement of the Arctic People’s Conference 2023”, which states:

We bear witness to the collapse of critical marine species, including the salmon crash in rivers such as the Yukon, Kuskokwim and Deatnu, and call on government authorities to institute equitable management to ensure healthy ecosystems, restoration of these species and our food security.

AVCP leadership remains committed to being the voice for our region to draw support for increased Tribal input connected to state, federal, and international natural resources policies and initiatives. AVCP’s voice is being heard across the globe on behalf of our region and all people who rely on a subsistence way of life.

The event closed with our own, Traditional Chief Edward Adams Sr. provided the closing song and prayer to the meeting.