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Sovereignty Begins at Home: Inuit and the Northwest Passage – OKT

The fabled Northwest Passage, connecting the world’s two largest oceans along the northern coast of North America through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is fast becoming a present-day reality. Non-Inuit have dreamed of using the Passage as a commercial shipping lane since long before Franklin’s lost expedition. But the presence of year-round ice left the Passage largely un-navigable and kept those dreams at bay. Until now.

Today, a warming climate has ushered in with it a 21st-century gold rush for those seeking to profit from the bounty of opportunity provided by the thawing ice. Vast untapped resources previously inaccessible are suddenly becoming economical to exploit. One need looks no further than Russia, as it exploits the Northern Sea Route through its Arctic waters, generating 20% of its GDP as an example of the stakes involved. But there are clouds of uncertainty that persist over the Passage and Canada’s path forward in Arctic policy that remain unresolved.

The Dispute Over the Northwest Passage

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