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CIRCUMPOLAR

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ARCTIC CULTURAL GATEWAY

 

The Arctic Circumpolar Cultural Gateway (ACG) has as its long-term purpose to identify, develop, conserve and present Arctic cultures by means of electronic communication, in order to demonstrate and reinforce circumpolar commonalities and history, from an international and intercultural perspective. It fosters capacity building; and stimulates community participation, expanded scholarship and better policies and practices in the North.

The Arctic Circumpolar Cultural Gateway involves the heritage of peoples in Russia, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Greenland (Denmark), Finland, Iceland and the USA (Alaska) and was recognized by UNESCO in 1999. The ACG is sponsored by UNESCO and the Arctic Institute of North America. Her Excellency, the Governor General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson, was a patron of the ACG during her term of office. The ACG is a Permanent Observer at the Arctic Council

The ACG’s mission is to connect and benefit Arctic peoples and to collect and conserve their histories. The goal of the ACG is to facilitate information development and exchange in all media, to reinforce interrelationships among peoples of the Arctic and the global community. The ACG’s role is the identification, conservation, and communication of environmental, educational, social and cultural information, and facilitating dissemination by new communication techniques. Arctic resources are then preserved and developed through a thematic digitized collection, managed electronically. An interpretive framework will incrementally relate these resources, from an Arctic perspective, to the circumpolar world’s history. Northern peoples benefit by retaining, safeguarding, and caring for their heritage; acquiring advanced skills and techniques; and sharing knowledge with related organizations and individuals. Shared values, ways of knowing, and interrelationships can become better defined.

Electronic communication offers an opportunity to incorporate northern history and tradition into the mainstream of global knowledge systems, without negatively impacting established ways of life in the Arctic. Obstacles to communication - small populations, large geographical areas, and hostile climatic conditions – are diminished through global information and communication technologies.

The Internet can be used to create wider awareness and to disseminate information about Arctic peoples, their traditions and priorities, melding both research and northern perspectives. (The ACG website (www.arcticculturalgateway.org) is under construction at this time.)

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Mary Stapleton