The theme of this year's Rectors' Forum is, “Indigenous and non-indigenous societies in the North: Challenges for research and Education within UArctic”. Rectors and presidents from the eight Arctic countries will engage in key discussions not only with each other, but with indigenous representatives, and northern students. Sami University College President Steinar Pedersen noted, “By organizing the 5th UArctic Rectors’ Forum in Guovdageaidnu, we can address a critical set of questions about how higher education and scientific research can better serve the needs of northern peoples. This is an opportunity for real progress.” The UArctic Rectors’ Forum represents a unique opportunity for face-to-face discussions among institutional leadership.

Due to a death in his immediate family, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco has had to cancel all international travel, meaning that he will not be attending to the opening of the UArctic Institute for Circumpolar Reindeer Husbandry. We regret to inform that Princess Antoinette passed away last week.

On March 24th, during the UArctic Rectors’ Forum, Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development, Mr. Erik Solheim, will open the UArctic Ealát Institute in Kautokeino, Norway. This institute focuses on providing research and knowledge to reindeer herders all over the arctic area in order to meet a rapidly changing world and the opening will focus on use of traditional knowledge related to resource management in the Arctic and Subarctic regions. The institute is a legacy from the very successful International Polar Year project EALÁT and will focus on knowledge production related to reindeer herders’ traditional knowledge, land usage and food cultures through increased information, documentation, research, monitoring and education.

In tandem with the opening the newly established institute, in collaboration with UArctic will host the seminar “Arctic lavvu dialogue – Ethics on knowledge development”. This seminar will gather Norwegian ministers among them Erik Solheim, the leaders of the Sámi parliaments, UNESCO representatives, reindeer herding youth and scientists.

The hosts, led by Sami University College, have put together an impressive program on all levels that includes a joint seminar on traditional knowledge with the Norwegian Sami Parliament, as well as a tundra excursion to a siida reindeer herding camp. Students from around the region will also participate in a parallel student seminar and forum that begins at the Sami Education Institute in Inari, Finland before travelling to Kautokeino to meet with the rectors. The University of the Arctic Thematic Network on Global Change is also organizing a PhD training course, ‘People in a changing world.’

In June 2010, the University of the Arctic and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, conscious of their complementarities in the fields of research, science and environmental protection, signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Within the framework of this partnership, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation supports the UArctic Ealát Institute and more precisely the Student seminar.

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