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Effects of the pandemic on the European Arctic and Indigenous Health

Time Monday 9 May, 2022 at 13:00 - 16:30
Place Black Box, Curiosum

Together with researchers from Norway, Finland and Sweden we explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Sámi and Arctic societies. What were the effects of restrictions on the freedoms of gathering and travel, which took place between the Nordic countries? How did these societies meet the challenges of the pandemic, and what can we learn to inform policy in future public health crisis’ in the European Arctic?

The event will be in English. This seminar is a collaboration between the research group Lávvuo at the Dep. of Epidemiology and Global Health, and Umeå Transformation Research Initiative (UTRI), together with external researchers. Translation between Northern Sámi and English will be available.

Zoom link

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Registrations are now open

The registration is now closed. Physical participants will be provided with coffee and fika during the fika break.

Language options, live stream & recording

The event will be live recorded and produced by the Umeå University Communications Unit, and will be available both in English and Davvisámegiella (Northern Sámi). To take part of translation between English and Davvisámegiella as a physical participant, please bring a smartphone capable of running Zoom, and a headset. As a digital participant, you will be able to switch between live translation and direct sound from the event. Instructions will be provided to all participants on how to do this.


13:00 - Opening and welcome, Lávvuo Research Group and UTRI.

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Sámi society in Sweden, Oscar Sedholm, Umeå University.

Perspectives on COVID-19 in Sami communities in Norway, Gunnhild Skjold, University of Tromsø.

14:00 - Break

14:15 - Experiences from the project “Pandemic in the (sub) Arctic North” - A supra- and crossdisciplinary data collection focusing Norrbotten county, Sámi territories, Swedish side, May-Britt Öhman, Uppsala University and guest researcher Luleå Technical University.

Covid-19 – Perspectives from Northern Finland, Ulla Timlin & Arja Rautio, University of Oulu.

Caregiving of Older Persons during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Russian Arctic Province, Anastasia Emelyanova, University of Oulu.

15:00 - Coffee and fika

15:30 - Panel discussion on Arctic and Sámi health featuring:

Tonje Johansen, the Sami Council

Pekka Aikio, former president of the Sámi Parliament of Finland

Marie Persson Njajta, board member of the Sámi Parliament of Sweden

Sofia Kling, lead coordinator for The Knowledge Network for Sámi Health

16:30 - End note


Moderator: Jon Petter Stoor, Umeå University.

Online moderator: Kristina Lindblom, Umeå Transformation Research Initiative (UTRI).

Event type: Seminar

Oscar Sedholm is project assistant in the Lávvuo Research for Sámi Health group at the Department of Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University. He has acted as coordinator and main writer on the upcoming report on COVID-19 in Sápmi in Sweden. 

Gunnhild Skjold is an advisor at the Centre for Sami Health Research at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, where she is the project coordinator for the The Sami COVID-19 Case Study in Norway.

May-Britt Öhman is Lule and Forest Sámi, with Tornedalian heritage, associate professor in Environmental history, researcher at the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism, Cemfor, Uppsala University and guest associate professor at the Unit for History, Luleå University of Technology. 

Dr. Ulla Timlin, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher. Thule Institute and Facuty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland.

Dr. Anastasia Emelyanova is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Thule Institute, University of Oulu and working on the multidisciplinary changes in the Arctic populations, human and wildlife health. She co-leads the UArctic Thematic Network “Health and Well-being in the Arctic”.

Tonje Margrete Winsnes Johansen works as an advisor for the Saami Council in the Arctic and Environmental Unit. In her work Johansen focuses especially on sustainable development and socio-economic issues in Sámi society and in the Arctic. 

Marie Persson Njajta is board member of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden with responsibilities over Sámi health issues.

Pekka Aikio is former president of the Sámi Parliament of Finland.

Sofia Kling is lead coordinator of the Knowledge Network for Sámi Health which organizes representatives from the Swedish regions working with Sámi health issues.