International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry in Kautokeino opened by the current Prime Minister of Norway 10 years ago today
International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry (ICR) in Kautokeino was opened by then the Minister of Local Governement and Regional Development, Mrs. Erna Solberg on September 2, 2005.
In her opening speech, Mrs. Solberg stressed that the establishment of the Centre is a contribution from Norway to maintain and strengthen the international cooperation in reindeer husbandry, and that it would add another dimension to the cooperation of the Arctic Council and the Barents Region. She also emphasized that the Government considers it important that the reindeer herders and their organizations have a close relationship to the Centre: “… We have therefore emphasized that the Centre to be established and operated in cooperation with the Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH).”
Mrs. Solberg also emphasized the importance of traditional knowledge of reindeer husbandry in her opening speech: “… It is particularly crucial that the knowledge is accepted and used in education systems, research and, not at least, in public management. We have made little use of reindeer husbandry’s own experience and knowledge in our management of reindeer husbandry in Norway in the last 30 years,” said Mrs. Solberg before she rounded:” … The goal must be that future generations recognize the value of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge as essential skills in harvesting and management of nature, climate and environment. The aim must be to achieve a better and more appropriate management of indigenous livelihoods and areas in which the indigenous peoples live.»
The Government was also represented by the Minister of Children and Family Affairs, Mrs. Laila Dåvøy, State Secretary, Mrs. Ellen Inga O Hætta in the Ministery of Local Government and Regional Development, and State Secretary, Mr. Vidar Helgesen in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the opening ceremony in Kautokeino in 2005.
In the anniversary year 2015, ten years after the opening of the ICR, the Prime Minister of Norway, Mrs. Erna Solberg said in her speech at the Sami Parliament’s plenary, 3 July:
“… The International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry – which was established in 2005 – has also contributed in promoting knowledge and understanding for the reindeer husbandry. The Centre contributes to maintain and develop sustainable reindeer husbandry in the northern areas, and strengthen the cooperation with reindeer herders in other countries. The Centre works well and has become an important actor in the North. “
The Centre contributes to the development of a new knowledge base for indigenous communities’ adaptation to the major changes in the Arctic. The Centre works with people-to-people cooperation and civil society from Alaska and Canada in the west to Mongolia and China in the east. Today, 10 years after its establishment, many reindeer herding youth from the northern areas attend in exchange programes organized by ICR. The Centre is now working with reindeer husbandry’s adaptation to climate changes and food culture in the Arctic Council. “… The establishment of ICR has significantly strengthened our opportunities for international people-to-people cooperation, exchange of information, recognition of our traditional knowledge, and the protection of indigenous communities in the circumpolar North,” said the General Secretary of WRH, Mr. Johan Mathis Turi. “… This is crucial for world reindeer herders, and thus the establishment of ICR is a great success”, he concludes.
ICR will celebrate its 10th anniversary through a series of events in Norway and other reindeer herding countries during the period of 2 September 2015 to 2 September 2016.
ICR is a contribution of the first white paper to the Norwegian Parliament in 2004/05. The Centre is organized as a governmental body with special powers, and receives today their basic funding from the state budget through the Ministry of Local Government and Moderination. The Centre is located in Kautokeino, Norway, with offices in Eastern Siberia, Russia and Canada.
More information: Director, Mr. Anders Oskal, Internasjonal Centre for Reindeer Husbandry (ICR)
Secretary General, Mr. Johan Mathis Turi, Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH)
Tel. +47 950 48331. Email: email@example.com
INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR REINDEER HUSBANDRY – OPNING SEPTEMBER 2, 2005
By the Minister of Local government and Regional Development, Mrs. Erna Solberg
Dear organizers, guests and audience It is a pleasure for me, as the Minister for both the Sámi and the minorities, on behalf of the Norwegian Government, to open a new International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry, located in Kautokeino. This Centre will add a new dimension to the cooperation between both the Sami interests and us, and in the Arctic Council and the Barents Cooperation.
The Government thinks it is of importance that the reindeer herders and their organizations have a close relationship to the Centre. We have therefore emphasized that the Centre is to be established and ran in cooperation with the Association of World Reindeer Herders. We have also been concerned to continue and strengthen the cross-border cooperation between reindeer herders. The Sámi reindeer husbandry was established long before we drew the borders between the state, and it is then essential to have a transnational cooperation in the years ahead. Reindeer herding organizations from both Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway are thus represented in the board and they are thus invited to take part in developing and running the centre forward.
The establishment of the Centre is a contribution from Norway to continue and strengthen the international cooperation between reindeer herders that was initiated for the first time 15 years ago by representatives from the reindeer husbandry. The cooperation includes today 20 different ethnic groups/nations who practice reindeer husbandry in large geographical areas in three continents and in totally 9 national states, from China and Mongolia in the east to Alaska and Canada in the west.
The Centre will be a key hub for dissemination and exchange of information, experiences and knowledge between world reindeer herders, – and between reindeer herders and the outside world. We all need to learn more about reindeer husbandry in the Arctic and subarctic regions.
I am glad that my participation today can be regarded as proof that the Centre already at the start have found their communication tools. It is nice for me to participate online and open the Centre in Kautokeino while I physically am located 2000 kilometres away.
It is particularly pleasing to note that the Centre, representing a traditional industry, take active use of highly developed technology. New technology is not a strange element in the industry – just look at for example the binoculars, snowmobile and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), which are here to stay in the work of reindeer husbandry.
As known, reindeer herding, as a circumpolar industry residing in the marginal arctic regions, has developed a distinctive traditional knowledge and adaptation. In the practice of the industry, the herders have through the ages acquired experiences and valuable knowledge that make the basis of the operations of the industry in relation to the nature, the climate and the environment, animals and animal protection and harvesting and management of natural resources. Without adopting this peculiar traditional knowledge, it would be difficult, or impossible, for the herders to succeed in the industry, especially when taking into account the natural conditions in which the industry operates.
Traditional knowledge is rarely recorded, but delivered orally from generation to generation. An important task for the Centre will be to document the traditional knowledge in the different regions. Too often, we experience that this type of traditional knowledge disappears from our society, because we have other ways to safeguard knowledge than what has been traditional. Equally important is that traditional knowledge is disseminated and made known between the different indigenous people. It is particularly crucial that the knowledge is accepted and used in educational systems, in research and, not at least, in public management. We have made little use of reindeer husbandry’s own experience and knowledge in our way to manage reindeer husbandry in Norway in the last 30 years. The aim must be that future generations recognize the value of indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge as important skills for harvesting and management of the nature, the climate and the environment. The aim must also be to achieve a better and more appropriate management of indigenous livelihoods and areas in which the indigenous peoples live.
With these words, I declare the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry opened. I wish the board of the Centre, the reindeer herders and their organizations and other partners, good luck with the work ahead.