2.1.1.1 The Circumpolar North

More than 200,000 Indigenous people live in the frozen zone that includes Greenland, Sápmi-Sweden, Russia and Canada. The problems these people face include cultural discrimination, global warming and increasing exploitation of natural resources by large companies. In Greenland, 57,000 Indigenous people from the Inuit ethnic group occupy the coast of the Earth's largest island, which has been semi-autonomous from Denmark since 1979.

It is estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 Indigenous people live in the northern part of Scandinavia, distributed between Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia. The Indigenous people embody linguistic minorities in all of these countries. Another 50,000 people belong to more than 100 Indigenous groups living in northern Russia, including Siberia and the Russian Far East.

In the Northwest Territories of Canada, the Indigenous population accounts for 22,000 people, or more than half of the local population. In addition, Canada's 2006 census indicated that about 24,900 of the 29,325 residents of Nunavut were members of first nations populations (mostly Inuit). Nunavut was created in 1999 from part of the Northwest Territories as a majority-Indigenous territory.