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AQQALUK LYNGE TURNS 65

The International Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), Aqqaluk Lynge was born in Aasiaat 65 years ago, and celebrates his birthday in Nuuk on October 12.

From his early youth Aqqaluk Lynge has not only been visible, but significant in the debate on Greenland’s present and future. As a young student in Denmark, he was a few years chairman of the Young Greenlanders Council, and after his return to Greenland he became a prominent representative of the political left as co-founder of the cultural summer events Aasivik and the political party Inuit Ataqatigiit. In 1983, the party with Mr Lynge as the leading candidate entered the parliament, and after the following election he became member of the Home Rule Government.

Lynge has been involved in the leadership of the ICC since its formal establishment in 1980, and he now twice has held the post as chair, just as he has been Vice-President of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The struggle for indigenous rights, and his writings, including poems and essays, reflects a rare socio-political commitment that has made Lynge’s name known far beyond the borders of Greenland.

Aqqaluk Lynge was at the award of the prestigious honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters by the renowned American university Dartmouth College in June 2012 referred to on par with other human rights defenders as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. by the university rector and president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim. In his acceptance speech, Lynge said: "I ​​received the honourable title as a recognition of my work for Inuit rights in solidarity with the world's indigenous peoples."