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Nuunoq and Attu Win the Nordic Environment Prize 2018

Halfdan and Nuunoq tasting Tornio whitefish. Photo: Rita Lukkarinen and Eero Murtomäki

Halfdan and Nuunoq tasting Tornio whitefish. Photo: Rita Lukkarinen and Eero Murtomäki

Snowchange partners in Attu, Western Greenland at the Natural Resources Council have won the prestigenous Nordic Environmental Prize 2018. The organisation is led by Nuunoq, who accepted the prize earlier this week in Oslo.

Nuunoq wrote this morning from Greenland to Snowchange. He had this to say:

Friday morning, November 2nd, 2018.

Thank you all very much. It is overwhelming.

It also comes as a big surprise to me that we quite suddenly receive so much support in Greenland. Before this, no-one “was interested” in the project.

For example, yesterday (Thursday, November 1st) when we arrived in our municipality, Kommune Qeqertalik, we were picked up at the airport and taken straight to the town hall where we were officially welcomed at a reception with several people and the press present. The mayor gave a speech in which she promised a lot of support. For example, the DKK 350,000 is a lot of money but it is not enough to cover the expenses of an information campaign in Greenland with a very long coastline, and the mayor promised to earmark some funds to cover the remainder of the costs for such a campaign.

Ababsi (left), Vladimir Feodoroff, Skolt Sámi knowledge holder, and Nuunoq pulling seine in Sevettijärvi, Finland, September 2018. Photo: Snowchange

Ababsi (left), Vladimir Feodoroff, Skolt Sámi knowledge holder, and Nuunoq pulling seine in Sevettijärvi, Finland, September 2018. Photo: Snowchange

When I said that I wanted Akatu (Pâviârak’ Jacobsen) to come along on the campaign the mayor, gratefully, accepted this. Likewise, it was also accepted, very gratefully, that I wanted him to come to Nuuk on November 6 for the presentation. In the same way, Nette from the Ministry of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture, who was with us in Oslo, Norway, said she would see what they could come up with for 2019.

Furthermore, I have also been invited to Africa by Finn, a former colleague of Nette, who had put forward the invitation the day before yesterday, supported by, among others, by the World Bank, this is very exciting.

Nuunoq, Mr. Per Ole Frederiksen, receiver of the Nordic Council Environment Prize 2018, for the Pisuna Project

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October-November Brings International Events, Fisheries

Koitajoki river seiners

Koitajoki river seiners

Autumn has been alltime record warm in the Finnish boreal. At Snowchange the summer restoration actions have been completed successfully for the most part. New wetland on Salojenneva site in Western Finland is ready as well as the Skolt Sámi restoration sites on river Vainosjoki as in Jukajoki catchment area. New video and oral history documentation took place with the Koitajoki river seiners in October.

Staff will be attending a range of events in October-November:

  • Head of the Biodiversity Unit Kaisu Mustonen travels to the Arctic Circle Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland to deliver a panel presentation on Snowchange restoration and new conservation actions.
  • Tero Mustonen will represent Puruvesi seiners at the Small-Scale Fishermen World Congress in Thailand next week.
  • Chris Madine heads to London to speak at the “We Feed the World” global exhibit featuring Snowchange restoration work.
  • Antoine Scherer will be attending the ICCA Consortium in Ethiopia, Africa in early November.

Check back here updates in early November.

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Nuunoq from Greenland Nominated for the NCM 2018 Prize, Represents Attu in Finland

Nuunoq at the Festiva. Photo: Rita Lukkarinen and Eero Murtomäki

Nuunoq at the Festival. Photo: Rita Lukkarinen and Eero Murtomäki

Nuunoq, otherwise known as Per Ole Frederiksen is a knowledge holder, hunter and a fisherman from Attu, Greenland. He has been leading the documentation of local knowledge observations of marine ecosystem change in his home region using the PISUNA method. In September he was nominated for the prestigeous Nordic Council Environmental Prize as he was in Finland for the Festival of Northern Fishing Traditions and visits to Sámi villages as a part of the eXchanging Knowledge project.

Nuunoq's father-in-law Jonas Ugp. and his cousin Abel L. are moving up the river in Nassuttooq / Nordre Stromfiord to go reindeer herding. Historical picture, personal archives

Nuunoq’s father-in-law Jonas Ugp. and his cousin Abel L. are moving up the river
in Nassuttooq / Nordre Stromfiord to go reindeer hunting. Historical picture, personal archives

Nuunoq was a part of a Greenlandic delegation that also included Ababsi, Paviarak, Gerth and Halfdan, long-term Snowchange partners from Western Greenland. The Greenlandic team visited first the Skolt Sámi territory in Finland where they saw community-led ecological restoration of trout and grayling habitats and then went seining as well as took part in other cultural activities.

The Festival of Northern Fishing Traditions commenced on 8th September in Tornio, Finland. News of the nomination for the environmental prize reached Nuunoq at the Festival. During the event he delivered a powerful reflection of the Attu situation and their experiences:

First of all, I want to say on behalf of my travel group that we are very pleased to meet well-known and new faces here in Finland. We are pleased to be taken on our most enjoyable and unforgettable orientation trip from north to south here in Finland. This will be engraved for some time in our memories.

 

Halfdan and Nuunoq tasting Tornio whitefish. Photo: Rita Lukkarinen and Eero Murtomäki

Halfdan and Nuunoq tasting Tornio whitefish. Photo: Rita Lukkarinen and Eero Murtomäki

I met Tero personally the first time three years ago and am glad to meet you again. Unfortunately, we haven’t almost been heard through 9 years of work in the PISUNA project, as we can say things remains unchanged from Naalakkersuisut and scientists in Greenland. Several scientists in the Greenland Institute of Natural History have even said: “Can you really give so much power to so few people?”

Their critical voices about our work have started to reach us. However, no questions have been asked to scientists as they have submitted proposals for Naalakkersuisut without taking consideration of our traditional fishing and hunting methods in our country with the result of disrupting our ways. 

I can say that we have lost everything in our vicinity from the village.

As an example: in connection with the renewal and harmonization of trout fishing legislation at national level, stick hooking were prohibited, stick hooking is the traditional fishing method of trout swimming down the river in May-June at the nearby Eqalussuit Lake.

Ababsi (left), Vladimir Feodoroff, Skolt Sámi knowledge holder, and Nuunoq pulling seine in Sevettijärvi, Finland, September 2018. Photo: Snowchange

Ababsi (left), Vladimir Feodoroff, Skolt Sámi knowledge holder, and Nuunoq pulling seine in Sevettijärvi, Finland, September 2018. Photo: Snowchange

The trout dams that has been built and maintained for about a millenia were unfortunately disassembled with help of the police authorities. We have also lost the right to sell smoked char on the “board” because of the legislation, which has resulted in significantly fewer people catching trout because most capture is only for their own use.

This has resulted in an increased trout stock, hence trout has lost their normal red meat and now you catch ‘white’ trout. These are just a small part of the effects of excessive great power from the central administration.

Traditional walrus and narwhale hunting in the Thule area, ie. harpooning first from qajaq is under threat because restrictive requirements have been introduced just to make restrictions. The old hunting council is even considering to lift the ban of motorized hunting and travelling in the fiord of Thule. This will reduce the time usage of hunting, if motorized sport hunting in the fiord is practiced.  

I could easily find similar examples to mention, but because of limited time, I would like to say that I envy you a lot and believe that my fellow villagers would be envious of you because you have maintained your traditions that relate to your faith. We have lost these in Greenland and they have now only become history. We can not hide that we just as tourists even marvel at traditional drummers when they come and show us. 

After 1721, Hans Egede had introduced Denmark’s colonization of the land of the people, the Greenlanders has lost their traditional faith. Because they were banned from exercising this belief and related activities. These were even perceived as criminal acts and have unfortunately been forgotten in Greenland. Especially in West Greenland. Therefore, we envy you and admire you because you have preserved yours.

Thanks,
Nuunoq

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Festival of Northern Fishing Traditions Brings Global Small-Scale and Indigenous Fishermen to North

Whitefish roasted. Hannibal Rhoades, used with permission

Whitefish roasted. Hannibal Rhoades, used with permission

Co-organised by Interreg Nord Summer Whitefish and Snowchange Cooperative, the Festival of Northern Fishing Traditions has wrapped up successfully in Tornio, Finland. Over 150 small-scale and Indigenous fishermen around the world joined forces to discuss climate change, traditional knowledge, governance and direct exchanges on common challenges.

Fishtrap out in the Perämeri

Fishtrap out in the Perämeri

As reported by for example Gaia Foundation, Northern Forum and Low Impact Fishermen of Europe the event specifically addressed the need for recognition of traditional ecological

Nuunoq and Vladimir seining in Sevettijärvi. Hannibal Rhoades

Nuunoq and Vladimir seining in Sevettijärvi. Hannibal Rhoades

knowledge and voices of the small-scale and Indigenous fishermen in governance, monitoring and management of fish stocks globally.

Over 20 participants took part in a field trip to Skolt Sámi area, where co-management project leader Pauliina Feodoroff and restoration specialist Janne Raassina guided the guests to the Vainosjoki restoration. Juha, Vladimir and Veikko Feodoroff took

Pauliina Feodoroff outlines the restoration project principles. Hannibal Rhoades

Pauliina Feodoroff outlines the restoration project principles. Hannibal Rhoades

the guests seining for whitefish on lake Sevettijärvi.

Meanwhile in Tornio an EU workshop was under way – CHERISH project brought together eigth EU regions to discuss the cultural heritage of fisheries with field trips out to Perämeri National Park and island of Selkäsarvi. Mats Innala demostrated the push-up fishtraps for whitefish.

Nuunuq from Greenland observes Näätämö river at Skoltfossen. Hannibal Rhoades, used with permission

Nuunuq from Greenland observes Näätämö river at Skoltfossen. Hannibal Rhoades, used with permission

Festival itself contained a seminar day with all regions presenting on friday. On saturday participants went dip netting for whitefish and seining on river Tornio, as can be seen on this video.

Cultural, artenasal and Indigenous fisheries are the lifeline for food security, climate survival and traditional knowledge globally.

Mats Innala with whitefish

Mats Innala with whitefish

The festival sent a strong message that a reform is needed if we are to survive the 21st century challenges faced by these communities. 2020 Festival will continue building on this in Khanty-Mansia, Siberia.

The Festival was made possible by generous support of the participating fishing communities, Snowchange Cooperative,

Juha Feodoroff, a Skolt Sámi fisherman, relaxes during the Festival. Hannibal Rhoades

Juha Feodoroff, a Skolt Sámi fisherman, relaxes during the Festival. Hannibal Rhoades

Gerth, Pavariak and Hugu at Festival.

Gerth, Pavariak and Hugu at Festival.

Interreg Summer Whitefish, CHERISH Interreg Europe, NEFCO, Nordic Council of Ministers, Gaia Foundation, the Northern Forum and many other donors and supporters. Heartfelt thank you to you all!

Whitefish ladders on Kukkolankoski. Hannibal Rhoades

Whitefish ladders on Kukkolankoski. Hannibal Rhoades

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Breakthrough in Solar Panel Summit in Siberia

Training under way in Yakutsk.

Training under way in Yakutsk.

Historic training and cooperation summit in Yakutsk has concluded. The Barefoot trainers, mrs. Fatma and mr. Abin Thomas have successfully delivered a training course for the nomadic Indigenous communities of Lower Kolyma, Sakha-Yakutia. The parties have agreed on future steps of solar panel expansion.

Abin Thomas addresses the summit.

Abin Thomas addresses the summit.

As discussed yesterday on Al-Jazeera and in the Narwhal newspiece in Canada, measures of maintaining Indigenous communities on the land will require new solutions and new innovations this century. The summit and training in Yakutia delivers steps for the nomadic communities to succeed. The College of Northern Peoples and the regional nomadic communities, such as Nennen have agreed to discuss sending delegates to be further trained in Barefoot College in 2019.

Abin training the local delegates.

Abin training the local delegates.

The summit and training workshop was made available through the generous funding of Hogan-Lovells as well as Barefoot College and the Snowchange Cooperative. Delegates are thankful also to Government of Sakha-Yakutia, all nomadic communities and regional authorities as well as Northern Forum Academy.

Nomadic community of Nennen with Abin and Fatma.

Nomadic community of Nennen with Abin and Fatma.

Special gratitude goes out to mr. Chris Madine and mrs. Maria Krivashapkina for maintaining the solar panel coordination and skills in Kolymskaya and the UK in recent years. The results of the summit will be further disseminated in the Lippo 2018 – Festival of Northern Fishing Traditions next week in Tornio, Finland.

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