The gathering will bring together established and emerging Indigenous women leaders from across the circumpolar world for a series of workshops and panel discussions, and will allow emerging leaders to connect with established ones to develop mentoring relationships.

Women leaders in many Arctic Indigenous communities are not recognized or respected for their leadership roles. All too often, women are discouraged or barred from entering high-profile jobs or political roles. Colonization has left many Arctic Indigenous communities with a patriarchal legacy of disrespecting women that tolerates and even condones violence against women and girls.

Despite institutional barriers and societal oppression, women are leaders in many of our communities. Often, it is women who are taking the lead in ensuring Indigenous languages and cultures are passed on to the younger generations. Women are leading the way in helping our communities and people heal by addressing the destructive legacies of colonization, like drug and alcohol abuse. Women are taking on important roles in the fields of health care and education to help ensure our people and youth are healthy and have access to systems of non-Indigenous education. More and more Indigenous women are being appointed or elected to high-profile positions to represent their Indigenous nations.

Indigenous women leaders will come together at the gathering to discuss leadership in all of its manifestations along with barriers to Indigenous women in leadership, and to share success stories and experiences that can serve as templates for positive change. Many of the workshops and panel discussions will be led by participants based on expressions of interest submitted prior to the gathering.

The gathering will also allow participants to make connections with other Indigenous women leaders from the Arctic. These connections will be important in the future work and initiatives of the participants, as they will have a strong network of Indigenous women to call on for advice, ideas and support.