Individuals from different areas of specialty had the opportunity to voice their perspective on climate change. Samuel Idivuoma’s documentary “Climate change’s first victims” depicted the effects that climate change is having on an Indigenous group (Nenet’s) of the North. A Sámi lady from Sweden who grew up in a reindeer herding family voiced that the reindeer are lacking the food they need because of the change in climate. This change has forced her father to get loans from the bank to feed the reindeer, but this loan cycle was not leading to any sustainable future as a reindeer herder, rather it was putting him in debt. So, the lady sought financial solutions from the Sámi representative present at the conference.

On the other hand researchers and professors from differing academic backgrounds had expressed their findings through presentations. Elena Sparrow from the International Research Center (IARC) and Center for Global Change, University of Alaska Fairbanks suggested that educating individuals beyond the masters and doctoral level could be beneficial for adapting to climate change. Getting the youth involved with climate oriented projects in school and educating them through experience was something which Mrs. Sparrow expressed with enthusiasm. The entire list of presenters can be found online at

The conference was held in coordination with the Jokkmokk Winter Market. It is a 400 year old Sámi tradition that attracts 40, 000 people from all over the world. Everything from wolf fur to smoked reindeer meat was sold throughout the market stands. Although the customer’s had to endure travel either by bus, train or car to Jokkmokk it did not prevent them from participating in the market.

There remains a high hope that the Jokkmokk Conference will continue to have a growing influence in the decisions influencing the arctic and sub-arctic regions. With the arctic being one of the first places to experience the changes from global warming there is a recognition that this conference will continue to have growing relevance in arctic development.

Elizabeth Zarpa