News

A set of community posters, in Russian, from Ponoi watershed, Murmansk

Snowchange releases a set of community posters that will be on display in the remote wilderness villages of Murmansk region, Russia as PDFs.

They are available here.

Additionally, the Snowchange Sámi climate work posters 2001-2008 are available in English here.

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Award-winning Snowscapes, Dreamscapes Book Made Available

Winner of the “Book of the Year 2005″ prize by the SikuNews in Canada, Snowscapes, Dreamscapes -publication is now available as PDFs, ten years after its initial release.

Snowscapes Cover, 2004

Snowscapes Cover, 2004

Snowscapes, Dreamscapes – A Snowchange Community Book of Change

(original release April 2004)

Snowscapes, Dreamscapes is a unique publication. It can be read as a collection of observations of change around the world. As well it is a journey to the Indigenous and Northern mindscape.

It is a collaboration between young people from the dominant society and Indigenous people, sharing a concern for the condition of the North that we all call home. These voices have been collected in this volume.

This book does not give ready made answers. It embraces all knowledge as equal and worthy of respect.

We wish to share thoughts and knowledge of the Indigenous and local people on climate, cultural and ecological change based on their own experience and cultural understanding. We wish to give space to those meanings and positions that the Indigenous people articulate and interpret themselves.

Indigenous discourse and the knowledge embedded in it are mainly local, of everyday character, deep and spiritual, based on long-term observation and personal experience. We hope to trap the concepts “modernity” and “global change” into a critical dialogue with locality.

Accompanying the community voices are ‘Dreamscapes’ – Stories and Paintings by Elina Helander. Her material, inspired by Sami mythology, serves as guidance to Indigenous values and modes of thought.

Editors:

Elina Helander is a Sami reindeer owner from Utsjoki, Finland. She works at the Arctic Centre, the University of Lapland as a senior scientist.

Tero Mustonen is a traditional Finn from Tampere, Finland with roots in North Karelia. He works at the Tampere Polytechnic, Finland as the Project Manager for Snowchange. He fishes and writes poems.

Cover

Pages 1-222

Pages 223-423

Pages 424 – 568

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Festival of Northern Fishing Traditions Announced

Organisers: Snowchange Cooperative, Sámi Nue’tt and other Sámi organisations, Northern Forum

Perch being smoked in a Eastern Sámi camp, 2006. Photo: Snowchange, 2014

Perch being smoked in a Eastern Sámi camp, 2006. Photo: Snowchange, 2014

Brief Overview: This three-day festival, to be held in September 2014, introduces a vast range of traditional fishing practices, harvest methods, handicrafts and other traditional cultural elements of fishing in a practical way. Included in the programme are different seining and net fishery shows, lectures on ecological and climate change and their impact on northern fish, possibilities to develop subsistence and small-scale professional fisheries in a sustainable manner across the North, restoration of watersheds for salmonid fishes and other topics which are relevant for the Northern fishing communities.

Participants: We expect 20-30 community participants, engaged in different ways with fisheries, to participate – strong emphasis is put on direct participation of fishermen and –women themselves. Participation is expected from the Sámi peoples, Finnish fishing communities, Indigenous societies of Lower Kolyma, Sakha-Yakutia, Russia as well as Khanty-Mansi (Jugra region), Russia and Murmansk, Russia.

Location: Kesälahti, North Karelia and Sevettijärvi, home of the Skolt Sámi people, Finland

Tentative Programme:

14th September 2014: Arrival to Puruvesi, Kesälahti community in Eastern Finland by train from Helsinki, Accommodation and meals, a lecture on Puruvesi seining

15th September: A trip on Lake Puruvesi and seining

16th September 2014: Depart Puruvesi early morning at 06.00, drive to Inari, overnight

17th September 2014: Visit Siida and Sájos Cultural Sámi Centers in Inari, drive to Sevettijärvi, Accommodations, food and discussions.

18th – 19th September 2014:

Festival Day 1 & 2:

-       Neiden river and Skolt Sámi Atlantic salmon locations and restoration project – Theme: Northern women and fish

-       Return to community, in the evening cultural and musical programme of Northern fish

20th September 2014: Festival Day 3 with the village of Sevettijärvi:

-       Demonstration of seining on Sevettijärvi lake

-       Handicrafts show: Fish skin preparation (salmon, burbot and pike)

-       Lectures on northern climate change and fish

-       Creation of network of Northern small-scale fisheries: International network to focus on boreal and Arctic fisheries, knowledge exchange and trade in fish products in Eurasian North

-       End of the meeting

21st September 2014: Return of international delegates by flight from Inari – Helsinki – home: Please advise if you wish Snowchange staff to reserve tickets or accommodations.

A good catch of perch and white fish on lake Lovozero. Photo: Snowchange Co-op, 2014

A good catch of perch and white fish on lake Lovozero. Photo: Snowchange Co-op, 2014

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Another Snowchange Sámi Publication Made Available – Drowning Reindeer, Drowning Homes

Cover of the book

Cover of the book

 

This is a book regarding violence that was done against land, nature and people. It tells globally little-known story of an Indigenous people, the Sámi and other local people living in the Sompio (Vuotso) region of Province of Lapland, Finland. Events have taken place in the region which are relevant to the Arctic and global discussions on climate and ecological changes. The book tells about the price that local communities and northern nature have paid for modernity.

Cover of the book is available here.

Part 1 is available here.

Part 2 is available here.

This book traces the histories and cultural landscape of southern part of Finnish Sápmi (Sámi homeland). Included are voices on northern climate change. A central theme, which runs through the book, is the River Kemijoki that was harnessed for hydroelectric power in 1948.

By late 1960s the construction of the dams and the electricity industry had reached the headwaters of the river, an area where the Sámi and other local people were living and practicing their subsistence economies and age-old traditional cultures. Even though the reindeer was the dominant connection with the land ecosystem, the economy also included many other connections to land and water ecosystems. It can be called “the Sámi ecosystem”.

In the span of a few years a whole culture was murdered, destroyed, flooded. Process bears the hallmark of a cultural and linguistic genocide. International attention to the questions of Lokka and Porttipahta reservoirs has been in waiting since 1970s. This book arrives in a very timely situation regarding energy production questions in Northern Finland.

It is only now that the United Nations under the auspices of the UN Association of Finland through the well-coordinated ‘Global Citizens Platform’ Project has teamed up with the independent non-profit Snowchange Cooperative and the local Sámi of Vuotso to offer an international assessment of the situation.

It comes 40 years after the events that are discussed took place. The artificial lakes have been built, villages burned and reindeer pastures flooded. Yet the magnitude, relevance and on-going social, cultural and environmental damages resulting from the catastrophe of Lokka and Porttipahta reservoirs need to be addressed. Construction process resulted in system shifts in the whole ecological complex of the region. This book offers mechanisms for discussion on the local level, on national level and as well on the international level so that the little-known situation in Finland becomes more widely exposed.

About the authors:

Antti Aikio is a Sámi scholar focusing on the legal issues of the Arctic Indigenous peoples. He is connected with the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi, Finland.

Pekka Aikio (Reindeer herder, Ph D h.c., M.Sc.) is a longtime leader of the Sámi of Finland. He comes from the reindeer herding community of Sompio which was impacted by the reservoirs.

Kaisu Mustonen (Master of Social Sciences – Human Geography) is a specialist regarding the questions of biodiversity and Indigenous women in the Arctic. She has worked extensively in the North American Arctic, Iceland, Sámi areas and Siberia among the northern subsistence communities. She lives in the village of Selkie, North Karelia, Finland.

Tero Mustonen (Doctor of Social Sciences – Human Geography) is the Head of International Affairs of the Snowchange Cooperative based in Finland. He has worked in the North American Arctic, Faroes Islands, Iceland, Sámi areas and Siberia among the northern subsistence communities. Mustonen is a winter seiner and the head of village of Selkie, North Karelia, Finland.

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Major Oral History Publication Made Available from Unalakleet, Alaska, USA

Snowchange makes available a major oral history document from Alaska:

It Has Been in Our Blood for Years and Years that We Are Salmon Fishermen – A Book of Oral History from Unalakleet, Alaska, USA documents observations, and knowledge presented in 2002 by seventeen Unalakleet indigenous people, with some further input in 2008. It tells a story of a changing community on the Norton Sound near the Bering Sea.

Climate change, subsistence rights, and loss of culture and tradition intermingle with the powerful stories of village elders regarding Beluga hunts and the long human history of the area. The Unalakleet Tribal Council partnered with the Snowchange Cooperative to collect the voices of local experts and holders of knowledge in 2002.

Unalakleet oral histories add a rich component to the culture of Western Alaska. This book is also an important source for studies of climate and ecological change in the region. It can be used in schools, universities, and colleges as an oral history source book of Unalakleet.

Cover of the book is available here.

PDF of the book is available here.

Authors:

Kaisu Mustonen specializes in the knowledge of women in the subsistence communities of the Arctic. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Sciences (Human Geography) from University of Joensuu, Finland.

Tero Mustonen has been working with northern Indigenous and subsistence communities for fifteen years. He is the Head of the Village of Selkie, North Karelia, Finland and holds a Doctorate in Human Geography.

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