February 23, 2007 / 12:31 PM / 13 years ago

Inuit, Polish Holocaust savior among Nobel nominees

OSLO (Reuters) - An Inuit activist and a 96-year-old Polish woman who saved Jewish children from the Holocaust are among the 181 nominees for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Poland’s Irene Sendler saved more than 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto in World War Two, while Inuit campaigner Sheila Watt-Cloutier of Canada has worked to raise awareness about climate change, according to those who nominated them.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the peace prize, received 181 nominations, including 46 organizations, by the February 1 deadline, an official at Oslo’s Nobel Institute said.

The number of nominations for what many consider to be the world’s top accolade is 10 fewer than last year and short of a record 199 set in 2005.

The five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the peace prize, does not disclose the names of nominees, but some names are published each year by the people who nominate them.

The winner of the 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.41 million) prize created by the Swedish philanthropist and inventor of dynamite Alfred Nobel is announced each year in October.

Two Norwegian parliamentarians nominated Watt-Cloutier, who has fought for the “right to be cold,” together with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore who has also worked to raise public awareness of the threat of global warming.

Sendler’s nomination has been supported by an online petition and by President Lech Kaczynski and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, according to reports

Another confirmed nomination is the UK-based charity Sail Training International, which aims to help young people through sailing.

Stein Toennesson, head of the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo, put Gore and Watt-Cloutier at the top of his list of picks for the 2007 prize.

Last year’s peace prize was won by Bangladeshi economist Mohammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded for their work to help millions out of poverty by granting tiny loans, pioneering a global movement known as microcredit.

The peace award is the only one of the six Nobel prizes granted in Norway. The others, for literature, medicine, chemistry, physics and economics, are given in Stockholm.

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