There was a good deal of media attention paid to the presence of over 30 students from around the world of reindeer herding in Kautokeino, Norway last month. Kautokeino of course is the largest centre of reindeer herding in the Sami area. TV 2 Norway made a short interview with DALAIJARGAL Gombo, a young Dukha student who was attending the Biological Diversity in course about why she was there and her hopes for the future challenges facing reindeer herding in Mongolia. She expressed faith that through collaboration with young herders from around the word, these challenges can be met. Watch the video here or below.
A unique Sami language calendar was launched last week in Kautokeino. Entitled ‘Boazojahki‘, it is a calendar that details the calendar year in terms of what it means for reindeer, reindeer herders and the work that must be done at the time of the year. Each month covers an enormous amount of information and insight into the cyclical and nature based world of reindeer husbandry.
The calendar is entirely in Sami language and is aimed primarily at children and youth but is of interest to all with an interest in reindeer herding. The author and creator is Karen Marie Eira Buljo.
Below are some pictures from the launch in Kautokeino. The calendar can be purchased here from the Sami language publisher Davvi Girji.
A ‘lavvu dialogue’ is a discussion that can take place either in a ‘lavvu‘ or in a lavvu like setting whereby all participants are seated in a circle on reindeer skins and are all equal participants in the dialogue and can share their voices in a collaborative non formal setting.
Today at the Parliament of Sakha Republic were held a press-conference with young reindeer herders – students of the UArctic EALAT Institute about their trip to Norway for 8j-100 education course on biodiversity and food culture traditional knowledge. Students just came back to their homelands, and they already were asked to have a press-conference with Yakutian mass-media. They shared their experience and still have a lot of impressions from the last two weeks in Norway.
As written previously, a course with over thirty students from all over the world of reindeer husbandry (Chukchi, Even, Evenki, Dolgan, Sami, Nenets and Dukha – to see where all these reindeer peoples live visit our Reindeer Peoples page), is currently underway in Kautokeino. Entitled ‘Biological Diversity from Indigenous Perspective’, the course has a strong focus on traditional food preparation and techniques and food as a key tool for the conservation of biological diversity and knowledge. Day 2 of the course is underway today, where students are demonstrating the skills, knowledge and food from their respective regions.
As the gallery below shows, working with reindeer meat and preparing traditional foods involves work, blood, fire and ashes…
In an event coordinated by the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and Søren Kühlwein, the Director of the Hotel og Restaurantskolen in Copenhagen, a large number of food journalists are currently guests of ICR in Kautokeino where they are learning at first hand the meaning of ‘traditional foods’ in the Arctic. Traditional food consumption, processing and economies are one of the mainstays of life in small indigenous communities. The production and processing of reindeer meat and related products is a key plank in nurturing sustainability and resilience in marginal and often marginalized communities.
A unique course got underway in Kautokeino, Norway today, with well over 30 young students with many young reindeer herding peoples represented (Nenets, Eveny, Evenki, Sami, Chukchi, Dukha and Dolgan). The students are enrolled as Bachelor students at the Sami University of Applied Sciences in Kautokeino in a course entitled ‘Biological diversity in a circumpolar indigenous perspective’.
The bringing together of this diverse group of young reindeer herders has been made possible through the coordination of UNEP, GEF, the Arctic Council through the rubric of the Nomadic Herders project as organized by the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry in cooperation with University of the Arctic with financial support from the Norwegian Government, Ministry of Climate and Environment. With a strong focus on traditional food preparation, techniques and food as a key tool for the conservation of biological diversity and knowledge, the goal is to enhance the resilience of reindeer herders’ ecosystems and livelihoods, with an emphasis on the future generations of herders that will have to navigate the complexities of maintaining a traditional livelihood in a rapidly changing Arctic.
Between 31 March to 2 April in the village of Topolinoe (Tomponsky ulus, Sakha Republic) during the annual Reindeer Herders Day celebrations (which are held across Russia) there were special celebrations of the 85th anniversary of Vasily Mikhailovich Kladkin’. He was a well known ‘Hero of Socialist Labor’ and an ‘Honored Worker of Agriculture’.
Kladkin Vasily Mikhailovich (10.01.1931-27.05.2003) was a reindeer herder and Director of the sovkhoz. Not only are the residents of Topolinoe proud of him, but also the entire Republic. Under his leadership, the kolkhoz “Tomponsky” achieved outstanding success with regard to its economic indicators in the field of reindeer husbandry. Through effective organization and an intensive pre-slaughter fattening of reindeer, there was an increase in meat production and meat quality specifically and more generally, an improved local and regional economy and livelihood.
It was a very tough schedule for WRH and ICR representatives Anders Oskal and Svein Mathiesen during their stay in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) this week, and they also made time to discuss the first annual international reindeer move with Muus Khaya director Egor Makarov. The reindeer move is planned for February-March 2017 for a period of 10-12 days, and will trek for 500 km through the Verkhoyansk Range in Siberia.
The idea and purpose of this of this large expedition is also to draw more attention to reindeer herding and to support international cooperation between reindeer herders of the world.
Last week, there was a series of major events in Alaska, dedicated to the development of the Arctic as part of the US chairmanship in the Arctic Council. Events included a meeting of the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council (SDWG) in Barrow, Arctic Science Summit Week, Arctic Observing Summit and Senior Arctic Officials meeting.