“I didn’t choose this life, it chose me”

May 9, 2018 • Philip BurgessBlog, Challenges, EALLU, ICR/WRH, Projects, Reindeer, Reindeer HerdersLeave a comment

A nice article and photo (in German) was published in Berliner Zeitung a few months ago which we are reposting here, with their permission. Journalist Bernd Hauser visited Kautokeino in the spring and spent time with Issát Turi (pictured with his mother Kirsten Turi) and family in their winter pastures. Turi talked about the challenges facing reindeer herders in Finnmark and how herders can best continue to practice their traditional livelihoods. Turi is also an author in the EALLU food book where he wrote about the traditional ways that Sámi slaughter reindeer in order that the flavours of the reindeer meat are enhanced. The article closes with a quote from Turi that encapsulates the essence of the livelihood: “Nicht ich habe dieses Leben gewählt. Es hatmich gewählt!” (I didn’t choose this life, it chose me)

Berliner Zeitung 2018

Donwload the Statement from the Arctic Skills round table on Reindeer Herding

May 3, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaICR/WRH, UArctic EALAT InstituteLeave a comment

In early April 2018 in the village of Iengra, Neryungrinskiy district of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), a round table was held on the topic “Reindeer HUsbandry – basis for Indigenous Peoples Livelihoods in the Arctic”, organized as part of the Arctic Skills initiative.

During the round table, participants discussed development of the educational system for reindeer herders and agreed to create a thematic network of the University of the Arctic to strengthen cooperation between vocational education institutions for effective training of reindeer-herding personnel. Within the framework of the seminar the Arctic Skills championship of professional skills among reindeer herders  was held, which included competitions on the professional skills of reindeer herders in five competencies, a round table and other events.

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Most of reindeer will die in Yamal: the authorities of the region announced a rescue plan

April 23, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaChallenges, ReindeerLeave a comment

According to URA.RU, Yamal reindeer herdingо will face a major decline in the next ten years. This conclusion was made by scientists after geobotanical studies conducted in the Yamalskiy and Tazovskiy districts. Due to the impoverishment of the food base, reindeer will soon have nothing to eat. These dates were announced at a closed meeting by the first deputy governor of Yamal – Alexei Sitnikov. 

Sitnikov said that Yamal is threatened with the same thing that happened in Alaska in the 1930s. For 10 years because of hunger, the number of reindeer decreased from 600 thousand to 20 thousand animals. Yamal, with 760 ooo grazing reindeer,  is now facing a similar problem. Last year’s experiment to increase slaughtering capacities has failed. A detailed study showed that the number of reindeer in each individual family is below the necessary norm and herders simply can not  send animals for slaughter. The root of the problem lies in the number of families leading the traditional nomadic way of life. There are more than 3370 such families in Yamal. To solve the problem, no less than two thousand families need to be moved to towns and villages. At the moment this is impossible.

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Concerning court proceedings from reindeer herders in Norway

April 20, 2018 • Philip BurgessChallenges, Reindeer HerdersLeave a comment

Another reindeer herding case which was brought to the Norwegian Supreme Court now concerns reindeer herders in southern Norway of the Femund reindeer district. According to NRK, the dispute is between reindeer herders and farmers who demand a compensation for 530 000 kroner according to the law on damage. The case started in 2012, but the courth did not consider extreme and tough winter conditions for reindeer in 2012. 

This case becoming a case of principle,which deals with negative attitudes towards reindeer herders in southern Trøndelag and a desire to change the reindeer husbandry law. 

For more detailed information read on NRK



Minister Monica Mæland visited ICR

April 16, 2018 • Svetlana AvelovaBlog, ICR/WRHLeave a comment

Minister Monica Mæland from the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation visited International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry on 11th of April.

The meeting was held in the ICR office in Kautokeino. Topics on the future development and coperation in the Circumpolar North were discussed during the minister’s visit.

Here is some pictures from this event.


Arctic Skills: Reindeer Herding is the basis of life for Indigenous Peoples

April 9, 2018 • Philip BurgessBlogLeave a comment

In the Iengra settlement of Neryungri district of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) within the Arctic Skills championship an international seminar “Reindeer herding – the basis of vital activity of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic” was held.

According to Mikhail Pogodaev, the chairman of the board of the Association World Reindeer Herders, the seminar was attended by representatives of government bodies of regions of the Russian Federation, vocational training institutions from Yakutia, Yamal, the Krasnoyarsk Krai and Norway.

“We discussed the development of the educational system for reindeer herders. We agreed to create a thematic network of the University of the Arctic to strengthen cooperation between vocational education institutions for effective training of reindeer-herding personnel, “said Mikhail Pogodaev.

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World Reindeer Herders reports on the Arctic Council EALLU project

March 20, 2018 • Philip BurgessICR/WRHLeave a comment

This week the Association of World Reindeer Herders is vising Levi in Finland, where the Arctic Council SDWG and SAO meeting are held. WRH General Secretary Anders Oskal has presented the report on the work of the EALLU project for the last months.During this period more than ten educational seminars were organized, dedicated to food culture, traditional knowldege, reindeer herding youth etc. WRH had a succesful 6th Congress of World reindeer herder in Sweden; publications on traditional knowldge and food culture were published and several are about to be. WRH delegation will stay in Finland for few more days before going to hold its Council meeting, which will be in Salekhard at the end of this week.


EALLU book about the Arctic indigenous food culture is nominated for the Gourmand Awards

March 19, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaEALLU, ICR/WRHLeave a comment

EALLU is a book about food culture of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic, which is nominated for major food culture event in the world – the Gourmand Awards. The book describes the food culture, recipes and traditional knowledge about nutrition of the 13 indigenous peoples of the Arctic (Nenets, Saami, Chukchi, Koryak, Dolgan, Evenki, Even, Yukagir, Dukha, Inuit, Aleut, Gwichin, Athabaskan). More than 50 authors have contributed with their knowledge to the book; most of authors are young representatives of indigenous peoples of the Arctic, which is the first of its kind to present an overview of the food cultures belonging to the Arctic indigenous peoples.

The publication of the EALLU cook book was an intermediate result of a project implemented by the Association of World Reindeer Herders and the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry: “EALLU: indigenous youth, Arctic change and food culture”. The book was launched at the Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council, which was in Fairbanks (Alaska) in May 2017.

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Reindeer Herders from Norway at the Reindeer Herders Day in Iengra, Yakutia

March 13, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaICR/WRHLeave a comment

A number of events took place as part of the celebration of the traditional Reindeer Herder’s Day in Iengra (Neryungri district, Yakutia) with participation of local residents, and also members of the International Reindeer Herding Center and Association of World Reindeer Herders.
The delegation was represented by prof. Svein Mathisen, leader of the UArctic Institute of Circumpolar Reindeer Husbandry, Mikhail Pogodaev, chair of the Board of the Association of World Reindeer Herders, Inger Anita Smuk and Mikkel Anders Kemi of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and Sámi reindeer herders from Norway, students and reindeer herding youth of the Institute of the Peoples of the North of the Herzen University – Marta Okotetto and Anna Chuprina, and also project managers of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry Svetlana Avelova and Alena Gerasimova, who arrived in Neryungri district to get to know the culture and lifestyle of the Evenki reindeer herders of South Yakutia and also identify areas for further cooperation.

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Celebrations of the Reindeer Herders’ Day in Iengra, Yakutia

February 12, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaICR/WRHLeave a comment

Reindeer races in Iengra. Photo: Kokovin Y.

Association of World Reindeer Herders together with herders from Scandinavia and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District will participate i events dedicated to the traditional festival “Reindeer Herders Day” in the village of Iengra, Neryungri district of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in Russia. This year the festival is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of the first Honorary Citizen Neryungri, Evenki, Semyon Lekhanov and the Year of Healthy Lifestyle in Neryungri district. The festival will include several events, thus starting from February 27 till March 3 Iengra will host exhibition of local Evenki handicraft, photo exhibition with title “Im Evenki and this is my Reindeer”, exhibiion of toys etc. On February 27 guests will have an opportunity to see a play for reindeer herders “Sigikta the Great Handywoman”. 

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