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Minister Vandal represents Canada at 2023 Arctic Circle Assembly in Iceland

Press Release

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

News release

October 23, 2023

Developing strong relationships with circumpolar leaders and exchanging views on shared northern and Arctic priorities can lead to more effective solutions.

The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs has concluded his participation at the Arctic Circle Assembly, held in Reykjavík, Iceland, from October 19 to 21, 2023. This forum is the largest annual international gathering on the Arctic, attracting approximatively 2,000 participants from over 60 countries.

Minister Vandal engaged with international and Arctic leaders on Canada’s approach to issues like this year’s historic wildfires, economic development and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. He delivered a keynote address where he emphasized the co-developed Arctic and Northern Policy Framework and the importance of a collaborative approach while we work towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. He also spoke about the progress Canada is making on issues such as climate change, and food security in the North and Arctic.

The Assembly was also an excellent opportunity to meet and exchange views with researchers as well as with world leaders. Minister Vandal took part in two panel discussions, one about food sovereignty and the other, about wildfires in the Arctic. He also met with the United States Senator for Alaska, Lisa Murkowski and Chairman Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson former President of Iceland.

As lead federal department for the North, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada plays an important role in the promotion of circumpolar cooperation amongst Arctic nations. The Arctic Circle Assembly 2023 provided Canada with the opportunity  to share its collaborative approach with northern and Indigenous partners and to learn from other circumpolar leaders.


“It was truly rewarding to be part of this international forum and discussing the future of the Arctic alongside Indigenous and non-Indigenous Arctic leaders and researchers. Being able to share Canada’s views and solutions for Arctic issues in inclusive and innovative ways made us learn from each other and inspired us to work towards a better future for the Arctic and the people living there.”

The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs

Quick facts

  • Supporting Indigenous leadership and co-developing solutions to climate change, housing and food security in northern communities for First Nations, Inuit and Métis is central to advancing the reconciliation journey and self-determination.
  • Launched in 2019 and developed with Indigenous representatives and six territorial and provincial governments, Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework is a long-term vision for the Arctic and the North to reflect the priorities and perspectives of Arctic and northern people.
  • As lead federal department for the North, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) has direct responsibility for its political and economic development and improving knowledge of the North through scientific cooperation. Advancing Canada’s northern interests internationally falls directly within this mandate.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Kyle Allen
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

Media Relations
Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada


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