Most of the Arctic, like most of the world, is commonly owned. With ownership comes the obligation to manage our resources for the benefit of the total. To do that, we must understand the reality, the richness, and the responsibility of the North.

– Governor Walter J. Hickel, Founder

Our Mission

The Institute of the North’s mission is to inform public policy and cultivate an engaged citizenry consistent with our focus on the North and our belief that commonly-owned resources should be developed and managed for individual and community prosperity.

Core Values

Governor Hickel strongly believed in the power of an idea to change the world. The Institute of the North is inspired by his approach and is committed to a robust and thriving future for Alaskans, the Arctic and the world. The Intitute's core values come from our founder and comprise our decision-making framework:

  • Valuing Alaska's obligation to manage our resources for the benefit of the total
  • Balancing people, people's needs and nature
  • Understanding and communicating the reality, the richness, and the responsibility of the North
  • Elevating the voices of Alaskans in state, national and international arenas

What We Do

The Institute of the North is both forward-thinking and global in its approach to the challenges and opportunities stemming from Alaska’s strategic location. The Institute of the North develops initiatives that cross sectors and the circumpolar North to empower northern peoples by increasing knowledge of northern issues, at a local, national and global level and strengthening Alaskans’ voices in northern decision-making.

The Institute of the North carries out its mission while seeking out and sharing information that will help improve management of the Alaska’s resources.  Much of our work is based on establishing and sustaining cross-border relationships that benefit Alaskans. In the Arctic, the Institute is both an advocate and a convener. Our focus is on:

  • Strengthening Alaska and the global North
  • Expanding knowledge around economic and resource governance
  • Creating opportunities for the next generation of leaders to step up
The Institute of the North
  • Convenes and Facilitates Civic Discourse
  • Performs Outreach and Education
  • Hosts Policy Presentations and Discussions
  • Sustains Networks
  • Synthesizes Research
In order to
  • Engage Alaska’s private and public sectors in issues critical to America’s Arctic
  • Educate Alaskans about Alaska’s role as an Arctic state, including the challenges and opportunities inherent to the Arctic
  • Provide a toolkit of information for educating national audiences, the media and policymakers on the state’s needs; the wealth of potential opportunities; and the increasing relevance and importance of the Arctic – and Alaska’s position in the Arctic
  • Facilitate the development of Alaska Arctic policy


The Institute of the North is able to accomplish its mission by approaching it at different levels:

  • Individual – Providing opportunities for Alaskans to engage in their civic responsibilities
  • Community – Exploring opportuntites for community control in decision-making
  • State – Convening Alaskans in creative discussion about the future
  • National – Bringing national leaders together to leverage Alaska’s strategic location
  • Arctic – Highlighting Alaska’s role in developing Arctic infrastructure and policy
  • Global – Sharing and learning best practices for sustainable development

Core Principles

The Institute's core principles shape how we engage with critical issues on each of these levels. We believe in:

  • Diversity, not division
  • Responsible development
  • Non-partisanship
  • Dialogue