Talks on resource development, business partnerships and wildlife conservation will be on the agenda when the Inuit Circumpolar Council holds its 2014 general assembly in Inuvik, N.W.T., this week.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will address the assembly at East Three school Monday via video message.

Duane Smith

Duane Smith, president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada, says he and others want to hear the federal government's plans for the Arctic and resource development. (CBC)

Duane Smith, president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada, says he and others want to hear the federal government's plans for the Arctic and resource development. 

"We're not shying away from the issue," he said. "We want to have a meaningful discussion about development in the Arctic."

Smith also says they'll be taking about conservation of species such as caribou, shrimp, beluga and bowhead whale.

"We are talking about a vast area from Chukotka to Greenland," he said. "There's always going to be concerns of some type regarding wildlife management in certain areas if the population is being affected due to climate change."

Smith says delegates will also discuss new business partnerships that can be built between Inuit groups.

"Some Inuit organizations are in the airline business, the shipping business, oil and gas development, as well as off-shore resource like shrimp and commercial fisheries, so we can share and learn from each other."

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The Inuit Circumpolar Council holds its 2014 general assembly at East Three school in Inuvik, N.W.T., this week.

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Smith hopes delegates will commit to organizing a separate conference that would bring Inuit business leaders together.

Inuit need to be involved and be decision makers, said the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Terry Audla. 

"How Inuit can become not only the employees but, the employers. True partners, equal partners based on the fact that they are owners of the homeland and the Arctic people want to develop."

Delegates are also expected to debate and vote on a declaration on resource development. 

ICC delegates will also officially elect Okalik Eegeesiak as chair of the council for a four-year term. Chairmanship of the council rotates between the member states, and Eegeesiak was nominated to take Canada's turn at the helm.

Greenland's Aqqaluk Lynge is the outgoing International Chair. He said ICC is an important organization protecting the interest of Inuit internationally.

"It's because ICC has done such a good job so many good Inuit people, Inuit expertise, Inuit professionals everywhere that have been supporting the ICC work, I am sure we are working for the one future."

"One Arctic, One Future" is the theme at this year's general assembly.