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Cindy Dickson

Executive Director (Canada)

Cindy Dickson is of Gwitchin and Tlingit descent and is a member of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation.  She was raised by her grandfather and grew up in Old Crow, Yukon, Canada.   Cindy has worked for the Council of Yukon First Nations for the past twelve years and is the director of Circumpolar Relations and the founding director of the Arctic Athabaskan Council (AAC).   The Council of Yukon First Nations is the central political organization for First Nation peoples of the Yukon. It has been in existence since 1973 and continues to serve the needs of First Nations within the Yukon and most recently the Mackenzie delta.

AAC is an international Indigenous organization that focuses on environmental issues that may affect the health and well being of Athabaskan peoples in the arctic and sub-arctic regions of North America

Cindy was instrumental in assisting Yukon First Nations communities develop a Traditional Knowledge Guideline for the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP).  This guideline was prepared for scientists working in the Canadian North and can be viewed on-line at Cindy was also a member of a coalition of northern Indigenous peoples that persuaded countries to conclude a global agreement to ban persistent organic pollutants (POPS) such as DDT and PCBs that contaminate traditionally harvested foods.

Currently Ms. Dickson’s work centers on climate change vulnerabilities, adaptation, traditional knowledge and food security issues in the north. Cindy participated in the development of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), a four -year comprehensive analysis of the impacts and consequences of climate variability and changes across the Arctic region. During the assessment period, Cindy established the Elder Panel on Climate Change. The Elders Panel was tasked to contribute their knowledge of climate change observations. Cindy also established the Indigenous Issues Committee (IIC) for the University of the Arctic. The IIC provides a mechanism for northern Indigenous peoples and organizations to participate at UArctic council meetings. Cindy participated as part of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) Advisory Committee on Climate Change Adaptation Policy; Cindy has been involved with the International Polar Year (IPY), as part of the Canadian Committee on IPY; Currently Ms. Dickson is the lead for the Canadian pan-northern IPY research on Arctic Peoples, Culture, Resilience and Caribou. This project will investigate the processes that shape the resilience and adaptive capacity of three northern communities. As well, Cindy also participates as part of the High Arctic Research Station Experts and Users Group.


Arctic Athabaskan Council


Arctic Athabaskan Council
300 Range Rd, PO Box 39
Whitehorse STN C S C
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 5X9
Phone: +1 867 335 6030

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