Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Canada's Northern Strategy

Exercising Our Arctic Sovereignty

With 40% of our landmass in the territories, 162,000 kilometres of Arctic coastline and 25% of the global Arctic – Canada is undeniably an Arctic nation. The Government is firmly exercising our sovereignty over our Arctic lands and waters – sovereignty that is long-standing, well-established and based on historic title, international law and the presence of Inuit and other Aboriginal peoples for thousands of years.

At the same time, international interest in the Arctic region is growing, in part as a result of possibilities for resource development, climate change and new or longer access to transportation routes. Canada is demonstrating effective stewardship and leadership internationally, to promote a stable, rules-based Arctic region where the rights of sovereign states are respected in accordance with international law and diplomacy.

Canada has long been working with its international Arctic neighbours in areas such as search and rescue, icebreaker operations, fish and wildlife conservation, transportation, research, energy and environment. The Government will continue to strengthen this cooperation, while advancing our priorities for the Arctic region.