Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, who sits on the council and is an Inuk herself, says Canada is concerned about the move and has joined other members in “expressing their concern.”
Even Russian ambassador was surprised by own government’s action...
The Russian government surprised Arctic officials from the council’s eight member states this week when that country’s Ministry of Justice suspended the operations of the Russian indigenous group. The group represents more than 250,000 northerners and is one of six organizations that stand for aboriginals on the council. Canada begins a two-year term as the council’s head in the spring.
Aboriginal representation has been a hallmark of the council since it began and remains central to its operation. The “permanent participants” don’t have votes, but have full consultation rights and are part of all discussions.
But for the first time in the council’s history, the Russian aboriginal group’s seat was empty at meetings this week in Haparanda, Sweden.