In light of the commitments made through the ICARP process and strategic planning, IASC commissioned a Scoping Group and then an Action Group on Indigenous Involvement (AGII) to provide recommendations on better involving Indigenous peoples and incorporating Indigenous/traditional knowledge into IASC and its activities. The full AGII report is available here (also translated into Russian by the Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat), as is a shorter presentation delivered to the IASC Council, and these concrete recommendations to the IASC Council will help IASC achieve its goals.
The IASC Council would like to sincerely thank the Action Group and all those that contributed to their discussions for their thorough, comprehensive, and deep work. You can read the IASC Executive Committee's response to the AGII report here. The AGII report was greatfully received and approved by the IASC Council in March 2020. There are a wide range of recommendations, and these should be welcomed in the light of both the IASC Strategic Plan and ICARP-III Report.
IASC will proceed with consideration and implementation of the AGII recommendations. While not all of these recommendations can be immediately addressed, there is a lot that can be prioritized for quick implementation. This is the intent of IASC, and those priority actions include:
- Recognize that Indigenous and Traditional knowledge can inform the work of IASC by adding formal language to the IASC Handbook and other appropriate documents. - IASC Handbook updated on 16 April 2020
- IASC should invite every (Arctic) member state to nominate and fund Indigenous representatives to each Working Group & Council
- The AGII encourages IASC national adhering bodies to consult with the relevant (inter)national Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations when selecting their IASC representatives. (Note: this can include non-Indigenous people representing these organizations, which is another motivator behind a hybrid approach.)
- Include an Indigenous Knowledge and/or Traditional Knowledge keynote, panel, or dialogue in the opening plenary of each ASSW.
- Ensure that Indigenous engagement and involvement is incorporated in the work plans of the Working Groups.
- Add a question on Working Group proposal templates to document how each proposal will address Indigenous engagement and collaboration. - IASC activity proposal template updated in May 2020
- Include "Indigenous Knowledge" sessions / track in all possible conferences organized by IASC (including ASSW Open Science Conferences) to make it possible for Indigenous Knowledge holders/researchers to participate. This should not be limited to social science or humanities sessions, but also all other fields. Paired presentation between scientists and Indigenous community researchers should also be facilitated and encouraged.
- Continue and expand the ability to not require (post-event) reimbursement for IASC-funded Indigenous participants. - Both pre and post travel reimbursement forms are here; in many cases IASC can pay for costs directly.
- Consider multiple rounds of deadlines for Indigenous funding support – both early and late – to welcome a range and breadth of Indigenous participation.
- Explore 6th Indigenous Fellow - inaugural Fellows announced on 27 April 2020
The IASC Executive Committee, together with Indigenous partners, will continue to consider how to implement further recommendations from the AGII at upcoming meetings; this will begin with addressing IASC's capacity to respond to these recommendations.
Actions Groups are established by the IASC Council to provide strategic advice concerning both long-term activities and urgent needs. They are expert groups typically with a one or two year mandate and conclude their task with a report to the Council. More information on IASC Action Groups is available here.