Autumn News from Snowchange


Summer is slowly behind us. One of the coldest summers here in Finland did not prevent community work in Selkie, Näätämö watershed, and other regions.

This September Snowchange participates with a large delegation to the international ELOKA Workshop to be held mid-month in Colorado, USA.

Work Report from the Näätämö and Ponoi work will be released in 2-3 weeks. Next steps include the development of ’living maps’ based on the fieldwork so far and negotiations on the restoration of river Vainosjoki sub-catchment area and the lake Sevettijärvi itself.

Discussions on the new round of solar electrification of nomadic camps in Sakha-Yakutia continues and we expect some decisions by October.

The watershed restoration project 2015-2017 on the Jukajoki river, North Karelia, Finland has proceeded initially well. This 200,000 euro activity will install over 40 man-made wetland units and other protection measures across the heavily-damaged catchment area. The two films, ”Jukajoki” and ”Our Place on Earth”, featuring the project, will be released towards Autumn.

Similar activities are expected in the lake Kuivasjärvi catchment area in Pirkanmaa, Finland. This process that received international attention in 2014 in the Foreign Policy journal moves forwards with the founding of ”Pro Kuivasjärvi” association.

Expect news as the season develops!

Best from the Snowchange HQ,


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Snowchange Steering Committee Member Releases a Major New Book on Indigenist Knowledge

Snowchange Co-op steering committee member, Dawn Hill Adams from the Choctaw Nation, USA, together with her co-authors, has released a major new document discussing Indigenist Knowledge.


Ceremony at a Boundary Fire: A Story of Indigenist Knowledge documents a meeting of Indigenous leaders and Western scholars that took place in the winter 2015 to discuss Indigenous, or Indigenist knowledge, its relationship with the Western knowledge production and various events surrounding the workshop held in New York state, USA.

As one of the authors, Shawn Wilson, documents the purpose of the publication and the effort: “Who we are and our ways of thinking, doing things, and of being in the world, carry an inherent beauty without needing to be compared with others – we are incomparably beautiful. Our cultures, our art, our languages, our ways of being on Land – they are beautiful and worth preserving. If we can’t recognize this beauty then really there’s no need to carry on as Indigenous people.”

The book is available as a PDF here.

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Snowchange releases a new discussion paper on the traditional lamprey fishermen of Latvia

p15Snowchange releases a new discussion paper on the traditional lamprey fishermen of Latvia.

The Snowchange Cooperative represents the Puruvesi lake fishermen and the vendace (European Cisco) fish domestically. In December 2013 the European Union gave the fish and the traditional fishery the Geographical Indicator status as a food item. Between 2014-2015 Snowchange has been in talks with other fisheries across Northern Europe with the same status.

p9One of the neighbouring Geographical Indicator species is the lamprey of Carnikava, Latvia. The fishery is located on the river Gauja, which is located some 30 kilometres east from the capital of Latvia, Riga. This discussion paper documents the cooperation steps in August 2015 to support the Geographical Indicator work between Finland and Latvia in the context of traditional fisheries, knowledge and a visit between parties. It is available here.


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Beate Stormo on a Finland Visit

Eagle forged by Beate Stormo. Snowchange, 2008.

Eagle forged by Beate Stormo. Snowchange, 2008.

Beate Stormo, a Steering Committee member of Snowchange Co-op from the community of Kristnes, Iceland, is on a visit to Finland. First she will attend, and hopefully win, the Nordic Forging Black Smith Competition in Fiskars, Finland. Later in the visit she arrives in Selkie, North Karelia, for cooperation talks and updates. Snowchange welcomes Beate to Finland for the first time and looks forwards to all discussions!

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New Snowchange Discussion Paper released on Winter Seining

A new Snowchange Discussion Paper, number 7, has been released. It is available here.

talvi 2010 3

Snowchange Discussion Paper #7: Weather Change Observations of the Puruvesi Winter Seiners 1996-2015 by Tero Mustonen and the Members of the Kesälahti Fish Base describes climate issues in the winter seining community of Puruvesi.

The paper examines, in addition to traditions of the region, the contemporary ice and weather knowledge of nuotta (seine) fishermen of the region. While this community has interacted, for several hundreds of years, with a larger Indo-European society and is a seamless part of the modern Finnish nation-state, by analysing the oral histories and memories of the fishermen and their icescapes another reading of the Finnish boreal and lake system is revealed. The fishery is impacted by both the open markets of the fish production in Finland and in the European Union in addition to the impacts from the global, and more specifically northern, climate change. Yet, the traditional seiners choose to continue their practices in these times of change.

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