Scientists discuss involvement of indigenous Arctic peoples in research activities
As part of the Arctic Science Summit Week, Arkhangelsk hosted a meeting of the International Arctic Science Committee's Social & Human Working Group. Experts addressed a wide range of issues related to human activities in the Arctic, studies of direct and indirect effects of ecosystem changes on the Arctic area's population, and issues of geopolitics and peace, and gender equality. Yet the main aim of this group's work is involving indigenous peoples of the Arctic in the scientific community's initiatives.
"It is important to provide residents with information on scientific activities and the most pressing issues," Mervi Heikkinen, member of the Social & Human Working Group and researcher at the University of Oulu, emphasized. "Yet, we understand that Arctic research has many gaps. We need more researchers, including interested participants who represent indigenous peoples. But this is not only about applied research per se; we need to build our future together and use this knowledge to have an effect on the future of this territory. We want the Arctic to be a place where we will be able to live, work, advance, start families, and bring up children."
The previous meeting of the working group took place at the University of Oulu in September 2018. The meeting focused on the issues of gender equality and self-determination in Arctic territories; researchers also discussed the involvement of these territories' residents in scientific research. At today's meeting, participants presented the results of the work done to date and its core messages.
"It is also important for us to see how the changes occurring in the climate affect people's lives and how these effects differ for members of the two genders," Mervi Heikkinen noted.
The University of Oulu is an international network of universities, colleges, research institutes and other organizations that address issues of education and research in the North, including human life and activities in the Arctic. The research office of the University of the Arctic is located at the Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU). The university provides information resources to support the international network's joint research and development projects.