Lisa M. Smith

I am very pleased to be part of this group of Arctic women and to network with all of you for the benefit of the issues we all care about.  As the Executive Director for the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Canada, I am focused on working with Inuit leaders from across Canada to promote Inuit rights in the international community and Inuit well-being in all its aspects. We primarily work at the United Nations and the Arctic Council.

Prior to joining ICC, I served as Director of the President’s Department at Makivik Corporation (the Inuit rights holder for Northern Quebec Inuit), where I was also responsible for Makivik’s participation at over 30 federal tables.  Before that, I was the Chief of Staff to Senator Charlie Watt (the only Canadian Inuit Senator at that time), and there I served as legislative and policy advisor while promoting the use of Inuktitut in the Canadian Parliament.  My interests encompass the rights of Indigenous peoples, the duty to consult with them, and the use of legislation to advance Inuit interests within the current political systems. The promotion of Indigenous languages and issues of self–determination and Inuit sovereignty are also my priorities.

Leadership has always been a central theme of my professional life.  I have a bachelor’s degree from Carleton University, and two master’s degrees which includes an MA in Leadership from the University of Victoria.  My travels have taken me to many parts of the beautiful, expansive Canadian Arctic and to Alaska, and I hope to visit Greenland and further afield.  I am very grateful for the many opportunities the Inuit leadership have provided me.

ICC was founded in 1977 to promote and celebrate the unity of the 180,000 Inuit from Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka in Russia.  It promotes Inuit rights, protects the Arctic environment, and safeguards the Inuit way of life.  ICC Canada works across all the Inuit regions, at the Arctic Council, in the United Nations, and with the Government of Canada, to preserve and promote the unity of Inuit as a single people within the Circumpolar Arctic, and assist Canadian Inuit to speak collectively with Inuit in Russia, Alaska, and Greenland on international matters concerning them all.  ICC Canada also coordinates and facilitates cooperation among the Inuit settlement claim organizations on international matters.  Lastly, it acts as the international vehicle through which all Canadian Inuit can voice concerns and exercise their rights in world bodies, international conventions, intergovernmental forums, international non-governmental organizations, and global Indigenous movements.

I look forward to hearing from you.  Please send me a message at or on LinkedIn.