April 04, 2014

"Ambassador Koukku-Ronde and her staff briefly visited with UAA students, faculty and staff Feb 28."

Anchorage Press "The first time I heard someone raise the question of whether or not the U.S. is an Arctic nation was during a meeting with the Finnish Ambassador to the U.S., the Hon. Ritva Koukku-Ronde." By Annie Passarello

'She was very interested in hearing from those in attendance about issues related to changing Arctic conditions and ways and in which Finland could enhance its relationship with Alaska and the U.S.

'As the meeting drew to a close and the few in attendance shuffled out of the small conference room, I heard someone question whether the U.S. was embracing its Arctic nationhood. The question struck me, and is one that has taken root in my thoughts of late, for until that moment I never questioned whether or not the U.S. was an Arctic nation. In fact, I never thought of the U.S. in those terms.

'Perhaps that is why I was so rattled by the question and even more disturbed by the lack of a clear answer.

'Approaching the answer from a strictly geographic standpoint yields an immediate yes, as the northernmost reaches of Alaska lie well within the Arctic Circle.'

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