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.
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 ‘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.
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.
Biological Diversity in a Circumpolar Indigenous Perspective
Starting April 11th, 2016 in Kautokeino, Norway, this is a course organized by the Sámi University College and the UArctic EALÁT Institute in cooperation with the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry. The course includes a two-week session in Kautokeino, and independent project-work to document traditional knowledge.
Who Should Apply & Why?
The course is aimed at training young reindeer herders and indigenous youth in documenting traditional knowledge related to biodiversity change. This is an introductory-level course to indigenous peoples traditional knowledge and its use for the conservation of biological diversity. The focus is on building a bridge between analytical and empirical approaches to traditional knowledge. The course will, on the one hand, provide an introduction to academic debates on how traditional knowledge contributes to sustaining indigenous peoples societies and the role of traditional knowledge in the conservation of biological diversity. On the other hand it will provide students with practical experience in using methods to document traditional knowledge on biological diversity in a systematic and ethical manner.