Scholastic Enrichment in Indigenous Reindeer Communities

Lead Author Jackie, Hrabok-Leppäjärvi
Institution Contact Saami Education Institute Menesjärventie 4 PL 50 99871 FINLAND _____________________ University of Alaska Fairbanks Northwest Campus P.O. Box 400 Nome, Alaska 99762 USA
Co-Authors Liisa Holmberg, Saami Education Institute, Finland Bob Metcalf, University of Alaska Fairbanks Northwest Campus, USA
Theme Theme 3: Local and Traditional Knowledge
Session Name 3.2 Local and traditional knowledge in supporting business and community development in indigenous regions of the North
Datetime Thu, Sep 15, 2016 01:45 PM - 02:00 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text Reindeer husbandry is a family based activity preserving traditions, languages, and cultures among Arctic peoples. Traditional knowledge, or rather indigenous knowledge preserves the cultural heritages of northern communities and provides the foundations for development of production and entrepreneurship. Globalization and climate change are two factors transforming these foundations.
The Saami Education Institute in northern Finland in collaboration with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Northwest Campus offers a specialized program in reindeer range management at high latitudes. It promotes traditional ways of life of the indigenous Saami, Yupik, and Inupiaq with a modern curriculum to encourage healthy communities. Values matter and the education system should reflect that. The overall goal is to develop sustainable indigenous cultures with economy from reindeer herding as a modern day livelihood. The development of the ‘value added reindeer education concept’ encourages multitasking in cultures, languages, crafts, nutrition, science, and tourism. We must fuse these with modern technology, design, and media to create innovative products and services.
Partnerships with local reindeer herders, associations, and institutions will aid in the development of community based reindeer research. Applied projects concentrating on localized needs would be conducted by indigenous students and field technicians. Outreach, research, product development, and training benefit all actors and indigenous groups in the region. Reindeer husbandry remains vital. The culture connected to it remains a respected way of life worth pursuing.
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