Greenpeace demonstrators rallied against Arctic oil exploration outside the Arctic Council meeting in Yellowknife Tuesday morning.
"There is such a thing as sustainable development but it doesn't include oil," said protester Farah Khan. "I think there are options that don't include oil that can create long term opportunities for communities in the Arctic, that wouldn't deplete the resources and put the air and the water at risk."
Else Eikeland, Norway's representative at the Arctic Council, said she didn't agree with their message.
"People need jobs," she said. "They can't survive on social services. They need jobs, they need education. So we need to establish economic development in order for people to live and to prosper."
She said this week council members will discuss how the Arctic can become a greater engine for economic development without sacrificing the environment, as well as how to address issues such as suicide rates and preserving local languages.