Spring News: Arctic Passion, Post-Prize, Rewilding On the Way

Spring and into summer in Sámi lands

Spring newsletter reviews the big turns of the winter and spring and looks to the busy summer ahead at HQ.

Spring and early summer are here! A range of updates from across the Snowchange realm:

  • The second General Assembly of the Arctic Passion, a large observation project collected Indigenous delegates from Tahltan and Gwichin and Sámi partners as well as staff of Snowchange into Baveno, Italy. At halfway point, the Arctic Passion represents the largest attempt to bring forwards both the past and present urgencies in 7 Indigenous and Arctic locations. See the news of Arctic Passion also for the updates!
  • The post-Goldman Prize tours and media attention has been a tsunami with over 100 media stories and newscasts around the world and continuous range of visitors to the HQ. We thank all of the good wishes and will be sharing news as summer gets under way.
  • Visit us on 17th June in Tohmajärvi, North Karelia, Finland for the opening of the HQ officially , i.e. the very first Rewilding Center for Finland with panels, films, music and all. The opening is led by Noora Huusari, head of HR in Snowchange and a show of force for the new decades of Snowchange.
  • Koitajoki rewilding work as well as the boreal forest and ICCA work with Sámi communities is in full swing. Additionally we welcome Thomas Miller, recognized film maker who also contributed to the Goldman Prize films in June to continue work on the large Koitajoki film, slated for release in 2025.
  • Other rewilding priorities are under way in Sevettijärvi, Onkamo, Parkano, Suomussalmi and Kuhmo. Extremely important management fisheries are producing dozens of kilograms in lake Sääperi in Tohmajärvi, work led by Lauri and Karoliina.

Check back for a summer newsletter in June! Remember our other websites

  • for the fisheries
  • for the TEK
  • for the coastal Indigenous work
  • for the rewilding programme
  • for the Koitajoki traditions and rewilding
Posted in News

Thank You to all for the Goldman Prize Congratulations

Snowchange and Tero Mustonen, the Chair are thankful for the continued congratulations around the world regarding the recent Goldman Environmental Prize! We are humbled by the width and scope of the prize impact! Thank you all !

Work continues next week in a normal fashion – heading to a busy rewilding season and fisheries, as well as the new seine on river Koitajoki – thanks all!

Posted in News

Arte Features Rewilding, Nilijoki Sámi Forest Added

Nilijoki – Rautavaara area

The French-German TV Channel Arte has released a full documentary. It features Snowchange. A large Sámi forest realizes rewilding and community rights.

Arte has released a full documentary on peatlands in Europe, titled “Es lebe das Moor”. It features several Snowchange staff and Selkie fisherman Einari Martikainen. The film follows Snowchange staff in Linnunsuo peatland, fish traps and Koitajoki restoration. Available here.

Also in late March a new Sámi forest has been added to the Landscape Rewilding Programme, Nilijoki-Rautavaara area. A total of 167 hectares, this Skolt Sámi forest supports community rights, reindeer herding, rewilding and preservation of Arctic habitats.

Posted in News

Snowchange Highlights Female Fishers on the International Women’s Day – Noora, Karoliina and Minna are the keys to our fishing success

Karoliina Lehtimäki
Karoliina Lehtimäki

Today is the International Women’s Day. Snowchange celebrates the women involved in the fisheries in the Cooperative together with LIFE – Low Impact Fishers of Europe.

Snowchange fisheries involve many female experts. Noora Huusari, our Head of Human Resources handles our distributions and sales. Minna Kutvonen, a recent addition to staff, fishes professionally in Värtsilä community and is involved in the sales, processing and other parts.

On the ice, Karoliina Lehtimäki is a part of our seining team. She’s a 27-year-old woman, who could never have imagined taking up fishing as a profession. However, fate had other plans for her. It all started during the 2021 winter seining fishing season when Noora, her friend from university, who worked for the Snowchange Cooperative, asked her to help in cleaning vendace, a local commercial fish species. Although she had no idea about this task, Karoliina agreed to help out.

While they were learning the art of cleaning vendace by hand, Karoliina’s friend Noora told her more about seine fishing in Finland, especially in Lake Puruvesi. Karoliina was fascinated and joined the seine cleaning crew a few times this winter to learn more about the process.

Today Karoliina is already in her second winter as a member of the seining crew. Under the guidance of Lauri Hämäläinen, the crew leader, she is well on her way to becoming immersed in the fishing profession. Henri Leskinen, who only fishes in winter, is also part of the team. Together they fish at Lake Puruvesi in eastern Finland, which is known for its clear water and centuries-old tradition of winter seining.

Our winter seining season lasts from early January to early April, depending on ice conditions. During the open water season, which usually lasts from March to November, they switch to fishing with traps and gillnets. On the occasion of International Women’s Day the Low Impact Fishers of Europe is running a large story and interview with Karoliina, here.

Posted in News

New Policy Brief on the Traditional Knowledge of Fisheries in Europe; CHERISH Project Winds Down

Snowchange Fisher Karoliina Lehtimäki checks the fish traps in June 2022.

The Interreg CHERISH Project is winding down. Snowchange experts release a Pan-European Policy Brief on traditional knowledge and the small-scale fishers.

The policy brief highlights the endangered role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) across Europe. In this brief TEK is associated specifically with small-scale fisheries (SSF) maintaining cultural heritage. The brief positions the knowledge in a wider context of sustainability and heritage and offers action points to improve the status and renewal of TEK.

The Cherish project has been working since 2017. It concludes in Spring 2023. 

Posted in News