On September 12, 2016 in the Indigenous Peoples Institute (IPI) in St Petersburg, Russia, the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and the UArctic EALAT Institute is organizing a seminar on indigenous peoples’ traditional food, traditional food culture and traditional knowledge. The seminar is being organized under the umbrella of the RIEVDAN project and is entitled ‘Traditional Knowledge and Food Culture – Towards Developing Research and Transforming Indigenous Economies in the Circumpolar North‘. Speakers include Mikhail Pogodaev (Northern Forum), Lyudmila Gashiliva of the IPI, Anders Oskal of ICR, Line Kalak of the Sami University of Applied Sciences and Svein Mathiesen of EALAT Institute and the UiT, the Arctic University of Norway.
The tragedy which left 323 reindeer dead in Hardangervidda occured on Friday night, as reported by NRK. The animals were killed by lightning. – There was a quite hard thunderstorm in the afternoon. The herd was probably struck by lightning, said Knut Nylend from the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate (SNO).
Participants of the Biological Diversity Course in Kautokeino: Sofia Zakharova (from Dolgan reindeer herding), Petr Kaurgin and Maksim Reundiu (Chukchi reindeer herders)
It has been exactly three months since reindeer herders from Russia and Mongolia left Kautokeino (Norway), as the international course on biological diversity and traditional knowldge reached the end of its first part (more information about the course here). 35 students/reindeer herders from three countries and seven different nations (Saami, Dukha, Nenets, Chukchi, Dolgan, Evenki and Even) are now at their homeland, mostly working with reindeer herds and also conducting their own small projects on documentation of traditional knowledge.
During two weeks of lectures in Kautokeino in April 2016, reindeer herders from different parts of the world not only got a chance to learn about reindeer husbandry of different peoples, gain new experience, share their challenges and concerns, they also made very good friendship. Even the language was not a problem, herders from Russia couldnt speak with herders from Mongolia, but they found their way of communicating by using gesticulation, photos and mobile phones.
Starting July 10 and till July 16 the Korea Maritime Institute (KMI) has been hosting the 2nd Korea Arctic Academy in Busan, Republic of Korea.
The 2nd Arctic Academy in Korea is sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, and co-organized by the University of the Arctic and Korea Maritime Institute. Student participants come from different UArctic members institutions. Altogether 29 students including 11 indigenous students from 7 Arctic countries and 10 Korean students have been participating in lectures and discussions on various Arctic agenda, visiting Korea’s Arctic related institutions, and experiencing traditional and modern Korean culture.
Among keynote speakesr at the Arctic Academy were Bernard Funston the Executive Secretary of the Arctic Council Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG), James Gamble the Executive Director of the Aleut International Association, Matti Heimonen Ambassador of Finland in Korea, Odin Kwon the Vice President of the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., LTD and others. During their short-term courses students also prepared presentations on an Arctic relevant topic of their choice. Due to the diverse academic background of the students, many themes concerning Arctic were mentioned, such as marine seismic surveys in the Arctic, world reindeer herding, indigenous peoples in Arctic governance, rights of the people living in the Artic etc.
Nechei A. Serotetto, a young Nenets student who took the remarkable step of travelling to Kautokeino in the heart of the Sami reindeer herding area, living there for a year, learning Sami language and applying her acquired knowledge on Nenets and Sami reindeer herding slaughtering techniques and terminology has received top marks for her completed final year paper. Serotetto’s work was for her final paper in teacher education at the Institute of the North, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia. This is a valuable contribution as Nenets slaughtering terminology is highly specific and sometimes ‘secret’ her work is a valuable addition to the broader knowledge and awareness of traditional knowledge of herding peoples. It is worth noting that no-one has ever studied the traditional Nenets way of slaughtering reindeer, making her work groundbreaking, particularly when compared to the more studied Sami practices of slaughter, which she studied and participated in, during her stay in Kautokeino.
Serotetto grew up in a nomadic reindeer herding family in the Yamal Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the largest single area of reindeer herding in the world where she was immersed in the nomadic herding life of her family and to where she is returning.
An important report authored by Rebecca Lawrence (Uni of Stockholm) and Rasmus Larsen of the (Stockholm Environment Institute) has just been published. Entitled ”Då är det inte renskötsel” – Konsekvenser av en gruvetablering i Laver, Älvsbyn, för Semisjaur Njarg sameby, the report concerns the impacts of Boliden’s proposed mine in Laver, northern Sweden, for the Semisjaur Njarg Sami reindeer herding community.
The proposed mine is on the Semisjaur Njarg community’s winter grazing pastures. Across the Sami reindeer herding area, winter pastures are under pressure and are particularly challenging for herders as they are experiencing intense pasture fragmentation. The district are concerned that the impact of this mine will hinder their ability to practice traditional herding and nomadism in such a way that a herder is quoted as stating ”Då är det inte renskötsel”, or, ‘Then it’s no longer reindeer husbandry’, and the district is opposed to the development of the mine in the Laver area.
After a long struggle in Sakha Republic (Yakutia) a new law on Nomadic Family in Sakha Republic was finally adopted on June 15, 2016. The State Assembly (Il Tumen) of Sakha Republic (Yakutia) for the first time made it protected by law – the definition of nomadic family and nomadic way of life, which will allow indigenous peoples of the North to use their constitutional rights.
It took many years to bring the draft law on approval of the Yakutian State Assembly. Acccording to the law, nomadic family is a family that lives and migrates on nomadic territories and reindeer pastures throughout the whole calendar year for the sustainable and rational use of food, water, biological and hunting resources.
You can now watch all the presentations (16 in all!), from the seminar entitled “A Future Vision for the Reindeer Meat Industry: The role of new technologies and traditional knowledge”, on our YouTube channel. The event was presented by the Arctic Council SDWG project EALLU: FOOD and INDIGENOUS YOUTH, Nosegcher (EALLU Sakha), RIEVDAN: Two Ways of Knowing and the Arctic Indigenous Peoples Culinary Institute and organized by the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry in collaboration with the Embassy of Norway in Moscow.
Jon Mikkel Eira explains and performs a Yoik, opening a seminar entitled “A Future Vision for the Reindeer Meat Industry: The role of new technologies and traditional knowledge”. The event was presented by the Arctic Council SDWG project EALLU: FOOD and INDIGENOUS YOUTH, Nosegcher (EALLU Sakha), RIEVDAN: Two Ways of Knowing and the Arctic Indigenous Peoples Culinary Institute and organized by the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry in collaboration with the Embassy of Norway in Moscow.