Polar People

June 25, 2009 at 8:11 am | Posted in arctic, Demographics, Maps, Research | 2 Comments
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The North and the circumpolar regions, above 60º latitude, are considered to be one of the less populated areas of the world. This map shows the last numbers on that, distributed by country and organized by percentatge. This is published in Arctic Pollution Issues. A State of the Arctic Environment Report. Stefansson Arctic Institute, 2004. Arctic Human Development Report, and the map was created by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal.

UNESCO Conference: Confronting Climate Change in the Arctic

March 26, 2009 at 11:34 pm | Posted in arctic, Environment, North Pole, Problems, Wheater | Leave a comment

Recently, a conference about climate change in the Artic was held in Monaco, organized by Unesco. Here you can see the press new:

Confronting Climate Change in the Arctic

The Principality of Monaco hosted and supported a four-day meeting in early March, which was organized by UNESCO to address the concerns of the Arctic community and identify strategies for the sustainable development of the region. Experts in the social and natural sciences, ethics, education, and international affairs sought the local expertise of indigenous peoples in drafting a set of recommendations for follow-up action. The discussions engendered an integrated approach toward facing challenges in the Arctic.

“For the first time as an Alaskan Inuit I feel great hope because my words were taken seriously and weight was put on them,” said Mayor Edward Itta of the North Slope Borough in Alaska and president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC). Instead of telling Itta how the Inuit population will need to change their way of life to adapt to the changes occurring around them, as he said was typical of other meetings he had attended over the past 15 years, the experts at this meeting made a pointed effort to draw on indigenous expertise and acknowledge the value of maintaining traditional cultures. “This is the first time in many, many meetings similar to this that I actually felt useful to my people,” Itta said.

The 42 participants of the meeting concluded that a key challenge to achieving sustainable development in the Arctic will be in coordinating the interdisciplinary and international effort necessary to confront the changes that an ice-free “blue” Arctic Ocean will bring to the northern ecosystem, the culture and livelihoods of indigenous peoples, and economic activities in general.

“The Arctic and its population engaged in traditional activities should not be viewed as a system of early warning but as a system of early rescue,” added Larissa Abryutina, vice-president of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON). There are 200,000 indigenous people living in Russia—80,000 of whom are living in the Arctic, she explained.

The group concluded that the challenges of maintaining and enhancing the prosperity and cultural well-being of the people of the Arctic are often complicated by drivers of change which have non-Arctic origins. In addition, scientific, developmental, and conservation efforts are often driven by interests outside the Arctic.

“Nonetheless,” the group reported, “Arctic governments and Arctic residents welcome the growing global interest in this important region. Efforts to advance Arctic knowledge through scientific, traditional, and local means will be critically important to formulating responses to major challenges such as climate change. As work advances on all fronts, it will be important to acknowledge the people of the Arctic and their institutions as actors with valid interests and not simply treat the Arctic as a project to be acted upon.”

“Action formulated to address Arctic issues must begin from an understanding that many of the peoples of the Arctic have self-governing institutions. These peoples and their institutions have immense creativity and seek to advance the self-determination, prosperity and aspirations of their communities and their regions,” they added.

[…]

The recommendations include establishing “a working/advisory group to develop dialogue and strategy on the challenges of climate change for circumpolar indigenous peoples, including safeguarding intangible heritage and building synergies between indigenous and scientific knowledge.” Other objectives range from promoting employment opportunities through the conservation of traditional forms of activities for circumpolar indigenous peoples, to improving the access researchers have to exclusive economic zones in the Arctic.

The recommendations were the result of a consensus among the participants. Included at the meeting were indigenous peoples working with the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON), the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), and the Saami Parliament. Also attending were representatives of the Arctic Council, UNEP and UNESCO.

With participation not only from all Arctic States (Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States) but also elsewhere in Europe, and from as far away as New Zealand, South Africa, and Japan—the meeting provided testimony that what happens in the Arctic is of interest on a global scale.

[…]

You can read the whole article here.

The bad part about this is that politicians maybe listened to indigenous people, but they are not gonna change anything. Time will tell…

Arctic Indigenous Languages

December 26, 2008 at 12:54 am | Posted in arctic, Language, North Pole, Research | Leave a comment
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This is one of the most specific sites I found. Is it dedicated to all of the Arctic languages, so the topic is quite similar to mine. It is packed with good information, I will post something more later on:

Welcome to Arctic Indigenous Languages website.


This website aims to be a resource that strengthens Arctic indigenous languages. It includes background papers and articles related to indigenous languages, video clips of Arctic indigenous people explaining how important their languages are to them, and descriptions of current best practices in the protection and revitalization of indigenous languages.

An interestint section of the page is the one about the state of Arctic Indigenous Languages, where you will find some interesting documents:

State of Arctic Indigenous Languages

saami woman in conversationThe circumpolar Arctic is home to over 40 indigenous languages, with hundreds of indigenous communities spread throughout the circumpolar region – many speaking local variations of their people’s language. Because these communities differ in many ways, including their historical interactions with their colonizers and non-indigenous neighbours, it is clear that there will be many local perspectives and variations in how indigenous languages are currently used in the Arctic.

The articles and links on this page offer recent information on the state of Arctic indigenous languages, though this information is certainly not exhaustive.


Arctic Human Development Report (Chapter 3: Societies and Cultures: Change and Persistence) PDF icon

The Arctic Human Development Report was published in November 2004. The section “Languages: losses and reversed language shifts” on pages 53-56 describes the current state of the over 40 indigenous languages spoken in the Arctic.


United Nations Forum calls on governments to immediately support the revitalization of indigenous languages PDF icon

English | French | Inuktitut | Inuinnaqtun

May 27, 2008 (Iqaluit, Nunavut) – The Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth welcomes the recent calls for action from the international community to stop the rapid erosion of indigenous languages.


National Inuit Leader Says Census Data points to Call for ActionPDF icon

The President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Mary Simon says Inuit must recognize that the Inuit language is eroding and be prepared to do whatever is necessary to reverse this trend to protect, preserve and enhance the Inuit language and the different dialects that we speak.


Nunavut Examines Indigenous Language Issues
on World Stage
PDF icon

The Government of Nunavut recently returned home after attending the 7th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York. The forum is a United Nations advisory body that deals with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, environment, education, health and human rights.


UNESCO – 2008 International Year of Languages

On 16 May 2007, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2008 to be the International Year of Languages. UNESCO invites all its partners to increase their own activities to promote and protect all languages, particularly endangered languages, in all individual and collective contexts.


International Expert Group Meeting on Indigenous Languages

Documents from the indigenous experts, UNPFII members, Member States, UN Agencies, Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations, and Non-Governmental Organizations who participated in the International Expert Group Meeting on Indigenous Languages in New York, 8-10 January 2008.


Inuit Language PDF icon

Presentation by Carl Christian Olsen (Puju) at the International Expert Group Meeting on Indigenous Languages, 8-10 January 2008.


International Day of World’s Indigenous People (August 9th)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, to be observed August 9th, 2008.


Inuktut Uqausiit (Inuit Languages) in Canada – History and Contemporary Developments – Nadine Fabbi PDF icon

This overview of the history and current use of Inuit languages was updated in August 2008 to reflect the latest developments of Inuit languages in Canada.


Preserving Endangered Languages or Local Speech Variants in Kamchatka PDF icon

This paper was prepared for the 12th Conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages, held in September 2008. It concerns various language preservation projects in the Russian Far East that center on the production and dissemination of multimedia language teaching materials (DVD with textbook) with culturally adapted content, designed for use inside and outside the classroom. They refer to the endangered language of Itelmen as well as to endangered local variants of the Even and the Koryak languages spoken in Kamchatka.

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