Forager Magazine is out, featuring Snowchange and other TEK contents. You can read it here.
Snowchange Discussion Paper 9 documents the efforts of the Näätämö River Collaborative Management Project from May 2014 to September 2015.
Sámi weather observations of northern climate change are included. Oil tanker adrift in the close-by fjord cause a major disaster potential in November 2014.
International efforts, including high profile participation in the international Climate Change: Risk Assessment and the Festival of Northern Fishing Festival are included.
Ecological situation and nutrient loads along the Näätämö watershed, including bank erosion and Vainosjoki restoration sites have been surveyed.
Situation in the Kola Peninsula, Russia reached ‘catastrophe’ with the salmon deaths of August 2015. They are reviewed in detail from public sources.
Finally, international recognitions of the river work and project included in 2014-2015 being included into the UNFCCC Momentum for Change and the European River 2015 Competitions, where the Näätämö efforts landed at the second, semi-final stage solidifying the efforts and innovative capacity of the co-management steps.
The report is available here.
A new Snowchange -related thesis, “Arctic Voices from the Frontlines of a Warming World: The Importance of Indigenous Knowledge in the Climate Change Discourse” by Eleanor R. M. Waters, from the University of Vienna is now available online.
Inuiksuit stone statue from Igloolik, Nunavut, Canada. John Macdonald, 2014.
Arctic ice is melting at unprecedented rates, drastically altering arctic ecosystems, habitats, and lifestyles. Due to their subsistent ways of life, indigenous peoples have comparatively contributed very little to climate change, yet they are among the first to bear the brunt of its negative effects. Arctic indigenous peoples see human-induced climate change as a human rights issue, closely intertwined with self-determination and land rights. The various indigenous voices of the Arctic tell us they want to defend their cultures and will not be mere victims. They are increasingly vocal and involved in local, regional, and global solutions. The research in this paper reveals the impacts of climate change on traditional arctic ways of life. The contributions of indigenous ecological knowledge to adaptation initiatives are assessed and indigenous worldviews with inherent ties to the environment are discussed. A case study exposes the challenges of incorporating indigenous knowledge in Western science and politics. The Arctic Voices have a groundswell of support among scientists, researchers, environmentalists, and humanitarians yet there is very little government policy or action to help them combat the potential risks of climate change. As Arctic peoples continue to amplify their voices, policy and decision makers must listen in order to reach ethical and sustainable solutions to this crisis. It can be accessed here.
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,
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.