About the International Congress on Circumpolar Health

Seven hundred and fifty health professionals, researchers, and indigenous representatives from Canada, Greenland, Denmark, USA, Russia, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland and other countries interested in circumpolar health, are expected to gather in Yellowknife, NWT, Canada on July 11-16, 2009, to share health related research findings and program successes that will improve the quality of life for those living in circumpolar regions.

The 2009 triennial Congress, last held in 2006 in Novosibirsk, Russia, comes at a special time as it closely follows the conclusion of the current International Polar Year (IPY), a research initiative that takes place only twice every century. From March 2007 to 2009, countries and communities have focused their attention on health and environmental issues in the circumpolar world. It is expected that research findings from International Polar Year (IPY) projects will be presented at the Congress, which will also provide opportunities to plan follow-up steps to put this research into motion. By securing the legacy of IPY, research can be turned into practical and applicable health care approaches and practices that can be sustained over the long term.

In keeping with its ongoing mission, the ICCH will highlight challenges faced by circumpolar health professionals and successes of northern-based health care. The week-long event will feature thought-provoking keynote addresses, workshops, information sessions, social activities, and networking activities that will provide many opportunities for artistic, cultural, and social exchanges.

The Congress will connect participants with the people, places, and experiences that make northern Canada spectacular and will showcase the cultural richness and diversity of Yellowknife, the Northwest Territories, and the Canadian North. Events planned for the Congress include a cultural evening and art show. The Congress will also precede Folk on the Rocks, one of the North’s, and Canada’s top summertime music and cultural festivals.

About the International Union for Circumpolar Health

The health and wellness of northern peoples are the focus of the International Union for Circumpolar Health (IUCH). The IUCH is the only organization of its kind dedicated to health in the Arctic and Antarctic and brings together several organizations from the entire circumpolar region.

The five constituent bodies include:

Affiliated members include:

The World Health Organization is also represented on the IUCH Council.

Via the Congress, the IUCH addresses the long-standing need for the exchange of health related knowledge, as well as the results of recent research and successes in circumpolar communities for the benefit of all humankind. The Congress also builds on the circumpolar health movement that began in the 1960s — it shares research findings and program successes that are unique to the north in order to reduce death, disease, and disability, and to improve quality of life.

The Congress was last held in Canada in 1990, while Yellowknife hosted the third Congress in 1974.

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