Institute of the North

Governor Walter J. Hickel, founder of the Institute of the North, believed strongly that we must understand the reality, the richness and the responsibility of the North. He championed "the commons" and how to care for commonly-owned lands and resources, in our state and beyond.

Today, the Institute works to share that vision.  Our mission is vital to Alaska’s role as a key stakeholder in policy affecting the Arctic. We stand at a pivotal place where ideas and connections matter – across the state and on a global scale.

In an increasingly busy Arctic, many of the issues affecting Alaska have taken on new importance. Alaskans understand the inherent challenges to living in the Arctic but have found wealth in the quality of life and economic opportunity. That wealth relies on building and maintaining critical infrastructure in the state. For Alaskans to thrive in the North there must be a foundation in place to sustain communities and drive development.

The Institute of the North is a 501(c)3 non profit. Areas of special study include Alaska, the many regions of the Arctic and other areas of the world that are wealthy in both human cultures and natural resources. The Institute has gained a wide reputation as a center for the study of commonly-owned lands, seas and resources using Alaska as a model.

The Institute of the North is both forward-thinking and global in its approach to the challenges and opportunities stemming from Alaska’s strategic location. The Institute of the North develops initiatives that cross sectors and the circumpolar North to empower northern peoples by increasing knowledge of northern issues, at a local, national and global level and strengthening Alaskans’ voices in northern decision-making.

Facts and figures

Year Established 2004
Total Number of Staff 2
Number of Academic Staff 9
Focus Areas

Strengthening Alaska and the global North

Expanding knowledge around economic and resource governance

Creating opportunities for the next generation of leaders to step up