A growing number of aboriginals from around the Arctic are calling for a moratorium on energy development in the North.
Groups from every Arctic country have signed a statement that calls for an end to offshore drilling and a pause in northern energy projects unless local aboriginals consent.
The statement was released in Kiruna, Sweden, two days before leaders from the eight circumpolar nations meet and hand over chairmanship of the Arctic Council to Canada.
The statement also comes after federal cabinet minister Leona Aglukkaq, who will lead the council during Canada’s two-year stint, told reporters that northerners support her pro-business agenda.
The statement is signed by major aboriginal groups from Russia, the United States and Canada, and by aboriginal leaders from Scandinavia.
Some major groups, such as the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, have not signed the document.