The Snowchange Cooperative, a pan-arctic independant organisation devoted to working with Northern Indigenous communities on traditional knowledge and decolonisation, believes that the continuation of traditional lifestyles is key to solving rapidly advancing climate and ecological changes in the Arctic.
According to the organisation's Executive Secretary Tero Mustonen, the traditional knowledge developed within local northern communities over hundreds or even thousands of years reflects subtle strategies for making wise use of renewable natural resources in ways that are inherently sustainable. However, despite growing recognition of the importance of traditional knowledge and awareness of the danger of such knowledge vanishing, very little has been done to revitalize traditional knowledge at a community level.
"There is an urgent need to study traditional economies and knowledge systems, to appreciate their character and complexity, and to preserve them," he says, adding that the "continuation of traditional lifestyles, such as nomadic reindeer herding, can help in surprising ways to tackle climate change."
First created in 2000 to document and work with local Indigenous communities of the Northern regions, SnowChange became the SnowChange Cooperative in 2005. The non-profit educational, scientific and environmental organisation is currently focusing its scientific work on various Indigenous communities in Finland, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Iceland and the United States.
For more information, visit the SnowChange website