Life in the Cyclic World has been in the making for a decade. It is based on the collected, analyzed and assessed traditional ecological knowledge for the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment of the Arctic Council. Between 2012 and 2016 the authors and the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna – CAFF, one of the Council’s working groups, exchanged drafts and versions to release this document as a Compendium. However this plan did not materialize and Snowchange Co-op publishes now these materials independently.
These materials are made available as originally planned, and cleared by the involved Indigenous organisations, communities, families and individuals. We hope this document will be of use in the understanding and discussions regarding Eurasian Arctic biodiversity and Indigenous peoples.
The TEK materials that have been included in this document come from the oral histories of the Indigenous communities in Sweden, Finland and Russia. There are some North American Indigenous materials in the first part of the document to position and offer scope to the discussions that follow.
A large body of the present volume is derived from the Snowchange oral history archival materials. All have been published before in scientific monographs, articles, community reports, books and other publicly available materials. All oral histories and Snowchange traditional materials that have been used have been discussed with the representatives of the Indigenous communities and organisations involved in a process that has lasted a decade. The principles of Free, Prior, Informed consent – FPIC have been followed to the fullest when possible. Materials have been included from the oral history archives of the Snowchange Cooperative and a literature review. Main focus of the materials is 1999-2010.
Part 1 of the Compendium is a much-needed overview of the traditional knowledge and biodiversity of the Indigenous peoples of the Eurasian North. It includes reflections on the socio-ecological systems of the Indigenous Nations of this region. Questions of traditional customary systems, oral histories and governance are included. Critical examination of overharvests and their historical context is analyzed.
Part 2 includes an extensive description of the shifts and imposed changes of the region from late 1800s to the 2010s. Special focus includes oil and gas development, modernity, hydropower and forestry, mining, nature conservation, oceans, rivers, lakes and fisheries, mammals and birds. In the conclusions an initiative of nomadic schools for Siberia is proposed as one of the mechanisms to preserve traditional knowledge and communities on the land.