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Published: 2023-08-02 Updated: 2023-08-03, 14:03

Lávvuo researchers helped establishing a new network at ISBNPA

NEWS Strategic funding from Arctic Centre

Text: Monica Börlin

Jon Petter Stoor, Postdoctoral Fellow at Department of Epidemiology and Global Health at Umeå University, and associated researcher at the Arctic Centre, participated at the annual scientific conference The International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA2023) in Uppsala between 14 and 17 June 2023. The activity was funded by the Arctic Centre at Umeå University.

Jon Petter Stoor is a licensed psychologist and researcher focusing on Indigenous peoples' health and men’s health. He explains that he participated at the conference to present posters on a subject close to his research area.

– I participated as a co-author of two posters highlighting the health-related lifestyle factors among Sámi in Sweden respectively the young adults Sámi in Sweden. Also, our UmU-group were part of establishing an Indigenous special interest group within the ISBNPA, together with Indigenous scholars and allies from across the globe.

Stoor participated together with his colleague Lena Maria Nilsson, who was an invited keynote at ISBNPA2023, and medical student Nils-Mikael Nilsson, whom Stoor has supervised for his medical program master thesis.

It was extremely rewarding to discuss and learn from Indigenous scholars and allied researchers working to improve health and well-being

When asked about what he thought about the conference, Stoor describes it as a meaningful experience with enjoyable discussions.

– For me it was extremely rewarding to discuss and learn from Indigenous scholars and allied researchers working to improve health and well-being through holistic interventions together with Indigenous peoples across the globe. Also, as a young Sámi health scholar myself it was a great feeling seeing my Master Student Nils-Mikael Nilsson (Medical Programme) present his work on young Sámi adults' health-related lifestyle behaviours and engage with the academic discussion connected to that. Indeed, a key objective for me is to be able to support Sámi and non-Sámi health students to be able to meaningfully work with, publish and contribute to Sámi health topics.

Stoor continues and explains that his participation at the conference was a good experience, as it was a key activity for the Lávvuo research group, and an opportunity to establish an interest group.

– In the Lávvuo research group, we work to spread knowledge and our scientific output from our main project, the SámiHET-study – the first national cross-sectional Sámi public health questionnaire study in Sweden. Furthermore, together with Indigenous colleagues and allied scholars from around the world (US, Canada, Australia and New Zeeland/Aotearoa) we established a special interest group within the ISBNPA that will work on supporting and strengthening work related to Indigenous people within the broader context of the ISBNPA.

Stoor also points out that the participation had a significance to the Arctic as well.

– Establishing scholarly networks like the Indigenous special interest group within the ISBNPA is key to facilitating continued "bottom-up" growth of marginalized research fields like Indigenous Arctic health. Such networks become excellent arenas for researchers outside the mainstream to meet, learn and discuss topics of mutual concern. What becomes clear in that setting is that Indigenous perspectives often are holistic by nature, and how foregrounding the Indigenous contexts provides an excellent platform for establishing cooperation not only across borders but also across otherwise disconnected research fields. For example, I do not see myself as neither a physical activity nor nutrition scholar (the two main topics within the ISBNPA) but through the creation of the Indigenous SIG space what is shared becomes visible rather than what separates different fields. For me and the Lávvuo-group for example, we were able to connect with and discuss issues connected to conducting health intervention and promotion studies in Indigenous contexts.

Petter Stoor
Postdoctoral fellow

About the conference

The International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) had their 22nd Annual Meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, 14–17 June 2023.

The mission of ISBNPA is to “stimulate and promote innovative and impactful research in behavioral nutrition and physical activity to improve human health and well-being worldwide”. The scientific program consists of keynote sessions from world-leading researchers. Parallel sessions of symposia, short orals and workshops provide key updates and discussion on recent progress in theory, methods and new findings related to physical activity and nutrition behaviour. Scientific poster sessions are also key times of scientific exchange during coffee breaks and lunchtimes.