News Watch: Indigenous people ignored in debates about Arctic

"Alona Yefimenko is descended from Chukchi and Even reindeer herders in Ayanka, Kamchatka, Russia. We met up with her earlier this summer in Iceland, where she participated in the Seventh International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS VII), organized by the International Arctic Social Sciences Association (IASSA). More than 400 delegates gathered for ICASS VII, between them presenting some 300 papers and joining the discussions in dozens of workshops

“It is important for indigenous people to be at [conferences such as ICASS VII],” Yefimenko says. “It is for them and for future generations of indigenous peoples of the Arctic.”

Why then are there so few indigenous peoples representatives at the major international meetings about the Arctic? One problem is financial assistance — it can be pricey to attend an event such as the one in Iceland. But it is also important to reach out to indigenous peoples’ teachers and help with education to explain why it is important to be aware of and to take part in international discussions about the Arctic, Yefimenko says."

Get the Story:
News Watch: Why Indigenous Peoples Need to Be Heard in the Global Debate on the Arctic (National Geographic 7/23)

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