Reindeer Police – Coming to Yamal?

November 18, 2014 • Philip BurgessBlog, ReindeerLeave a comment

олениRT and Isvestia were reporting yesterday that the police authorities in the Yamal Nenets Autonomous Okrug were considering using reindeer for assisting them in their police work. Trying to keep a straight face here in the Reindeer Portal, we read,

The idea of purchasing livestock reindeer is currently being discussed within the Ministry of Internal Affairs as a potentially effective measure to curb the crime rate, a source told Izvestia newspaper.

“At the meetings it was noted that the criminals often hide in the tundra and other hard to reach places using reindeer sleds, where the police do not always have a chance to pursue them. The same problem arises with the delivery of the suspects to police stations,” the source told the publication.

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Young Sami Herder Wins Big Brother Finland

November 17, 2014 • Philip BurgessBlog, Reindeer HerdersLeave a comment

Andte Gaup-JuusoBig news in the Sami region, especially in Finland, was the news that a young Sami herder from Enontekio has won the Finnish version of Big Brother. Big Brother, for those of you who are not aware is a globally syndicated franchise whereby a group of people, dubbed as “housemates”, live together in a large house. During their time in the house they are isolated from the outside world and are not commonly aware of outside events. Contestants are continuously monitored by in-house television cameras as well as personal audio microphones during their stay. Each series lasts for more than three months, with at least ten contestants entering the house. To win the final cash prize contestants either vote each other off the show, or are voted on by the viewing audience. In other words, it is not for the faint hearted, and it makes for hugely popular viewing.

This weekend, Andte Gaup-Juuso, A young Sami reindeer herder was the overwhelming winner of this years version of ‘BB’ in Finland. His plans were as follows – go home, start his snowmobile, go into the mountains and see his reindeer. He also said to the media that the 100,000 Euro(!) will also go into developing his herd.

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First Meeting of ICR’s New Board

November 14, 2014 • Alena GerasimovaBlog, ICR/WRHLeave a comment

ICR BoardThe International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry now has new Board members, who had their first meeting on November 12 in Kautokeino and disscussed their work and planning. The Board, with Inger Anita Smuk as its Chair, was appointed on October 10, 2014 for the next 4 years.

You can see the new Board and Deputies here

Bob Corell – Happy Birthday!

November 4, 2014 • Philip BurgessBlog, ICR/WRH, UArctic EALAT InstituteLeave a comment

Robert Corell & Anders OskalWe at the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, Association of World Reindeer Herders and the UArctic EALAT Institute would like to wish Dr. Robert Corell warm greetings for his 80th birthday today.

Dr. Corell has been a key ally of reindeer herders for many years and was a key partner in the early planning, initiation and implementation of the International Polar Year project EALAT. Corell has consistently sought out and promoted cooperation with reindeer herders and indigenous peoples and has played a key role in elevating the acceptance of indigenous knowledge and creating links and spaces where scientists and indigenous knowledge holders can share and learn from each other in atmospheres of trust and respect.

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ICR Director To Present at Arctic Circle, Iceland

November 1, 2014 • Philip BurgessBlog, ICR/WRHLeave a comment

AArctic Circle Logonders Oskal, the Director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry will be presenting at the Arctic Circle conference tomorrow, Sunday November 2.

Oskal was invited by the President of Iceland to be a part of the Advisory Board to the high level conference entitled ‘Arctic Circle‘, which (from their website)

is nonprofit and nonpartisan. Organizations, forums, think tanks, corporations and public associations around the world are invited to hold meetings within the Arctic Circle platform to advance their own missions and the broader goal of increasing collaborative decision-making without surrendering their institutional independence.

The Arctic Circle is designed to increase participation in Arctic dialogue and strengthen the international focus on the future of the Arctic.

The meeting has attracted some very high profile names and organisations. Oskal will be presenting in the plenary session ‘Indigenous Voices in the Arctic”. Follow #ArcticCircle2014 on Twitter for live updates. Download the full programme here.

New Article: Barriers to Incorporating Traditional Knowledge into Policy, Focus on Reindeer Herding in Finnmark

October 22, 2014 • Philip BurgessBlog, Projects, UArctic EALAT InstituteLeave a comment

Polar GeographyA timely contribution has been made to the debate about how governance and traditional knowledge intersect and the barriers that exist when trying to incorporate traditional knowledge into local and regional governance policies with a special focus on reindeer husbandry in Finnmark, Norway. This paper by Ellen Inga Turi and Carina Keskitalo paper highlights barriers to knowledge integration induced by the design of supportive policy instruments of information and institution building, where traditional knowledge is de-prioritized in relation to scientific knowledge.

The paper has been published in the most recent edition of Polar Geography

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Reindeer Seminar in Rovaniemi Next Week

October 15, 2014 • Philip BurgessBlog, Reindeer, Reindeer HerdersLeave a comment

ReArctic Centre Logoindeer herding and land use management – Nordic perspectives Seminar gathers reindeer herding researchers and experts to Rovaniemi, Finland 19th–21st October 2014. The main focus of the seminar, held in Arktikum, is on is
sues related to reindeer herding and land use questions in the Nordic reindeer herding area. 

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Reflective Reindeer Antlers – It’s that time of year again..

October 13, 2014 • Philip BurgessBlog, Challenges, ReindeerLeave a comment

Reflective antlersLast year probably the most widely circulated story about reindeer on the internet was the one about the special spray that the Finnish Reindeer Herders’ Cooperative introduced for reindeer antlers for testing. The testing wrapped earlier this year and now, with the winter coming again, new tests are scheduled to begin. These tests will be on about 300 reindeer in 6 cooperatives in the Rovaniemi region in Finland.

Reindeer losses to accidents on the roads are considerable. In Finland alone, 3500-4500 reindeer are killed by collisions with cars and trucks each year, with the peak period being the ‘dark time’ between the months of November and January.

A new product from the Swedish company Albedo100 will be used which it is hoped will prove to be a more sturdy and sustainable solution than the previous product tested which disappointed in trials.

Source: YLE

New Board for International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry

October 10, 2014 • Philip BurgessBlog, ICR/WRHLeave a comment

ICR LogoThe Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, after having consulted the Association of World Reindeer Herders, has appointed members to the board of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry in Kautokeino, Norway.
From10 October 2014 through 9 October 2018 the board will have the following composition:




Chair: Inger Anita Smuk (nominated by Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH)

Board members:
Roza Laptander (nominated by the Russian Union of Reindeer Herders)
Per-Jonas Partapouli (nominated by Svenske samers riksforbund og Sáminuorra)
Mikhail Pogodaev (nominated by Association of World Reindeer Herders – WRH)
Mai-Britt Utsi (nominated by Sámi University College)
Mauri Ylä-Kotola (nominated by University of Lapland)

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The Wonders of Reindeer Spit….

Philip BurgessBlog, ReindeerLeave a comment

reindeer calveWe here at the Reindeer Portal know all about how wonderful reindeer are. Science is also finding out new wonders about reindeer all the time. The short podcast below is about how their saliva can prevent the production of toxins in plants and fungus favoured by reindeer and moose. Source: Scientific American