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

Alaska Resource Governance & Economic Development

Common Lands, Uncommon Conditions

The Institute of the North educates Alaskans and the world about Alaska’s unique model of resource governance as well as engages policy makers, community members and business leaders in critical issues facing the state. Central to this work is our examination of key state and federal legislation and policy that impacts Alaska’s access to our commons. The Institute has established a number of projects that address Alaska’s key laws, the state constitution, and the mechanisms of governance that provide the state with a framework for success. 


Alaska Dialogue

Since 2001 the Institute of the North has convened The Alaska Dialogue, a policy focused gathering where 90-120 Alaskans leaders gather for a 2 ½-day in-depth discussion of the key and often sensitive issues facing the state and our commons. Through these dialogues we believe a 'One Alaska' is possible, where the reality, richness, and responsibility of north is understood and appreciated.

ANILCA Training

Consistent with our educational objectives, the Institute of the North hosts a Training course on the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA). As a result of ANILCA, nearly 140 million acres (more than one third of Alaska) are now federal conservation system units, such as national parks and wildlife refuges. Congress balanced the unprecedented scale of these designations with similarly unprecedented accommodations for Alaskans’ way of life and reliance on a resource-based economy. This ANILCA Training is offered in partnership with the US Department of the Interior University (DOIU), building on a program started in 2004 with an appropriation from Congress to establish an ANILCA curriculum. The original curriculum has since been substantially modified and updated, and continues to evolve to meet current needs.


Lead:North is a membership-based young leaders program, which informs Alaskans ages 21-40 about – and engages them in – community and statewide policy issues.  The Advisory Council, and the Institute of the North, believes that young Alaskans are committed to a prosperous future in Alaska and are united in wanting to contribute meaningfully to that future. Lead:North provides opportunities for young professionals and leaders to step up into key policy discussions; political and civic engagement; and professional development.