Gwich’in Council International releases report, titled “Impact Assessment in the Arctic: Emerging Practices of Indigenous-led Review”

For Immediate Release: Opening new doors for the field of Indigenous-Led Impact Assessment 

Gwich’in Council International (GCI) is releasing a report on Indigenous-led Impact Assessment today in Yellowknife, entitled Impact Assessment in the Arctic: Emerging Practices of Indigenous-led Review. The report is leading the way in identifying the strategic approaches Indigenous governments are taking as they lead their own major project assessments. By doing this, Indigenous governments are breaking ground, ensuring culture, language and way of life are central to the review of projects, and asserting their rights and responsibilities for environmental stewardship and land and resource decision-making in innovative and concrete ways.

“As partners in co-management we are upholding our inherent rights and responsibilities to take care of our people and our way of life. This study shows that there are many options and tools now being developed that Indigenous nations can use to assess and make binding decisions on major projects,” said Jordan Peterson, Deputy Grand Chief of the Gwich’in Tribal Council and Board member of the GCI.

The report, put together by The Firelight Group and based on case studies from across Canada, is being released to participants from the eight member nations of the Arctic Council who are in Yellowknife this week for a Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) of the Arctic Council Workshop on “Best Practices in Arctic Environmental Impact Assessment.” It will inform their project that aims to identify best practice in environmental assessment.

“This Workshop provides us with the opportunity to learn from Indigenous peoples from across the circumpolar world and share with them the best practices that are emerging from Canada,” Sarah Cox, Canadian Head of Delegation for the SDWG, explains.

GCI represents 9,000 Gwich’in in the Northwest Territories (NWT), Yukon, and Alaska as a Permanent Participant in the Arctic Council, the only international organization where there is a seat for Indigenous peoples at the decision-making table alongside national governments. GCI supports Gwich’in by amplifying our voice on sustainable development and the environment at the international level to support resilient and healthy communities.

To review the report:


For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact Sara French at 1-416-316-1129 or