Meeting of the minds

World Affairs Council's Al-Can Summit convenes Thursday
Jim Clark of the Juneau World Affairs Council introduces Jenny Gomez Strickler, Honorary Alaska Consul to the Philippines, for a speech in September. The Council will hold its Fall Forum focusing on Canada during a three day event at the University of Alaska Southeast starting Thursday.

Juneau will have a chance to get to know its neighbors a little better this week when representatives from Alaska, British Columbia and the Yukon convene in Juneau for the Al-Can Summit.

The event, hosted by the Juneau World Affairs Council, will be held at the University of Alaska Southeast’s Auke Bay campus and will feature authors, experts, professors and civic leaders.

Jim Clark, president of JWAC, said the event will give Juneauites a better s sense of our region.

“The purpose of the forum is to better acquaint students and people in Juneau with our western Canada neighbors,” Clark said. “We’re 20-odd miles to the border and a lot of people don’t know what goes on in the Yukon or British Columbia.”

William Morrison, professor of history emeritus at the University of Northern British Columbia, will give the keynote address Thursday night. There will be panels on topics ranging from climate change policy and renewable energy to transportation infrastructure and natural resources.

Several well-known Alaskans will be at the summit, including Inuit Circumpolar Council President Jimmy Stotts, Federal Coordinator for an Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline Larry Persily and UAS Chancellor John Pugh.

Clark said the summit is a great opportunity for the community to expand on what we know about our neighbor to the west and how to nurture that relationship.

“We have a similar climate and resource base. We have First Nations and Native issues surrounding subsistence, resource development and culture,” Clark said. “We’re just hoping to gain better communication and cooperation of each other’s cultures and learn how we might better work together.”

Panel and lectures will take place at the Egan Lecture Hall on the UAS Auke Bay Campus Friday and Saturday.

• Contact reporter Jennifer Canfield at 523-2279 or at Follow her on Twitter at

If you go:

Keynote speech: Primer on Canada

UAS Auke Bay Campus, Egan Room 221

7 p.m.

You can find the complete schedule here:

Cost: Free


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