APTN National News
OTTAWA — The Canadian government initially opposed Greenland’s participation in Monday’s Arctic Ocean summit which faced criticism from the U.S. for lacking indigenous representation around the table.
APTN National News has learned that Canadian officials balked at Denmark’s decision to include Greenland around the table during summit preparation meetings.
Canadian officials reportedly said they only wanted states to participate and that the inclusion of Greenland, a self-governing country within the kingdom of Denmark, could raise issues from Quebec, which has in the past pressed to represent itself at certain international forums.
Russia and Norway also attended the summit which was held in Chelsea, Que., across the Ottawa River from the capital.
Canada also faced criticism for excluding Iceland, Finland and Sweden from the gathering.
Greenland said it supported U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s criticism of Canada’s decision to exclude indigenous representation at the summit. A senior Greenland official told APTN National News that there was disappointment with Canada and that the exclusion was a “big deal.”