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Law; Labor; Indigenous Rights; Convention 169


This Article analyzes U.S. ratification of International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 169, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (“Convention 169” or “C. 169”), by evaluating the impact in terms of its ability to solidify its protections of the land and lifeways of Arctic Indigenous people and strengthen the United States’s position as an international leader in Arctic life, development, and policy. Part I presents the issues. Part II introduces the growth of a polar shipping industry in the context of a rapidly melting Arctic. Part III provides a brief gloss on the complex and shifting international legal framework governing Arctic sovereignty and the Arctic Indigenous people, and then outlines, in detail, the consultation and participation norms of Articles 6 and 7 of Convention 169. Part IV evaluates Convention 169’s ability to protect and promote Arctic Indigenous rights to self-determination and its potential application in an ice- free Arctic shipping industry. Finally, Part V concludes that the United States should ratify Convention 169 and implement consultation under Articles 6 and 7 as an imperfect, yet worthwhile, modality for promoting the interests of Indigenous people in the rapidly growing polar shipping industry.