Dalee Sambo Dorough by BILL HESSThe International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) awards the 2022 IASC Medal to Professor Dalee Sambo Dorough, University of Alaska Anchorage and Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, for outstanding achievements in advocacy for the rights of Indigenous peoples, her service to a wide range of arctic communities, including the Arctic Council, and her influence as a legal scholar.

Dalee Sambo Dorough was selected for her scientific expertise and advancement of the rights of Indigenous peoples and for her exceptional contributions in advancing research on public international law, international organizations, and human rights. She has worked as a scholar, as an advisor to international organizations, and, since 2018, as leader of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), which represents approximately 180,000 Inuit from Canada, Greenland, Russia and the United States on the Arctic Council.

A distinguishing career feature is her sustained record of working practically to implement the results of her research. Years of legal studies and policy research by Dr Dorough have contributed to key changes in how the rights of Indigenous peoples are viewed worldwide. Her contribution to the development of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and its subsequent implementation exemplifies her global influence and her impact on Indigenous people across the planet, and her own cultural affiliations and arctic scholarship credentials have brought the Indigenous peoples of the Arctic into greater global focus. Dr Dorough has given numerous presentations on law and policy affecting the Arctic to international and national fora; her publications span peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, edited volumes, and high-impact reports directed towards a range of national and international bodies. They include the Routledge Handbook of Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic, published in 2021, which she co-edited, and major contributions to landmark policy-relevant publications, such as the Arctic Human Development Report and International Law Association studies on the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Dr Dorough’s exceptional work has provided—and will continue to provide—outstanding guidance for gaining greater equality and recognizing diversity across arctic communities. It stands as an inspiration for several generations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and leaders in the social sciences and beyond.

The other shortlisted candidates for the 2021 IASC Medal were:

  • Robert W. Corell, for outstanding achievements in the pursuit of Arctic science across past political divides, the promotion of diversity in research through mentoring, and leadership that has brought science and public policy together and was critical to the formation of IASC.
  • John England, for outstanding achievements in pioneering Quaternary studies across Arctic Canada, excellent mentorship of generations of researchers, tireless efforts to support Indigenous communities and scholars, and advocacy of conservation in the Arctic.
  • Matthew D. Shupe, for outstanding achievements in interdisciplinary scholarship and his critical role on steering the unique international Arctic Ocean program MOSAiC to success.

Dr. Dalee Sambo Dorough is planned to deliver her IASC Medal lecture as part of ASSW2022. Be sure to sign up for the IASC email list to receive the latest information and to register for the ASSW 2022.

IASC would like to thank the 2022 IASC Medal Committee for their service: Mary Edwards (TWG) (Chair), J. Otto Habeck (SHWG), Yuji Kodama, Monika Kędra (MWG) and Greta Wells (CWG, Fellow).

Photo: Dalee Sambo Dorough by Bill Hess. 

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