Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

February 12, 2010 17:21 ET

Canada and Russia Working Jointly for the Well-Being of the Aboriginal Peoples of the Arctic

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 12, 2010) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, today signed a new work plan with the Honourable Viktor Fyodorovich Basargin, Minister of Regional Development of the Russian Federation, to implement concrete activities under the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding on the Cooperation of Northern Development and Aboriginal Issues.

"This international cooperation between Canada and the Russian Federation demonstrates that as Arctic states we are committed to the well-being of northern populations including the recognition of the unique interests and the special relationship of Aboriginal peoples of the Arctic," said Minister Strahl.

The Memorandum of Understanding builds on past accomplishments and will be implemented jointly by both countries. It will provide an opportunity to continue the exchange of best practices in the preservation of Aboriginal languages; building capacity for local public administration; sharing tools for Aboriginal policy research and the promotion of public private partnerships, especially in areas affected by resource development in the Arctic.

"The implementation of our Ministries' first plan of joint action within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding has proved this tool to be an effective one. I believe that it is undoubtedly important that we keep working in the same direction," said Minister Basargin. "The experts of the two Ministries have worked thoroughly on proposals for the 2010-2011 joint action plan, and they came up with - in my view - a practical and promising draft document, which is now ready to be signed. The plan lays out action on important initiatives in the sphere of corporate social responsibility, in raising the education and awareness levels of aboriginal peoples with smaller populations, in exchanging Russian and Canadian best practices in the field of providing support to aboriginal peoples, and, in my view, an extremely important and promising issue: protection of aboriginal authorship rights on traditional knowledge."

"As a person who lives in the North, I understand the realities of people in the Arctic," said the Honourable Minister Aglukkaq. "I am pleased to see that Canada and Russia - both Northern circumpolar countries - are working towards the same goal of improving the well-being of people in the Arctic."

For the purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding, the participants will encourage and facilitate direct contact between regional, territorial and local governments, Aboriginal groups and organizations of the Northern regions of both countrie as well as the academic and scientific institutions, and the private sector.

This release is also available on the Internet at

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Contact Information

  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs headquarter
    Office of the Honourable Strahl
    Michelle Yao
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
    Federal Minister of Health
    Josee Bellemare
    Embassy of the Russian Federation
    Boris A. Burmistrov
    First Secretary