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Published: 10 May, 2022

Surge of interest for the effects of the pandemic on the European Arctic

NEWS On the 9th of May the hybrid seminar Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the European Arctic and Indigenous Health took place at Curiosum. The event gathered around 50 participants during the day, and with help from the Inhouse live stream team will be spread even further in the future.

Text: Oscar Sedholm

The pandemic has changed our way of living in many ways. One of the big changes has been that digital competence have spread like a wildfire across the world - which has also been the case in Sápmi and the European Arctic. This was evident also when the research group Lávvuo organized a hybrid seminar at Black Box, Curiosum, Umeå Campus of Arts. Whilst the lecture hall wasn't filled to the brim with visitors, between 30-40 guests were connected online during the day, with everything from decision makers to representatives from Sámi communities.

Jon Petter Stoor acted as moderator, and Lena-Maria Nilsson both introduced and ended the day with joik and storytelling. The whole event was live streamed professionally by a team from the Inhouse bureau, and the whole thing was live translated between English and Davvesámegiella (Northern Sámi) by Miliana Baer.

The event was filled with a variety of research projects reaching from Norway, Sweden, Finland and even into Arctic Russia. First was Oscar Sedholm (UMU) speaking of preliminary results of effects on Sámi society in Sweden caused by the pandemic. After this followed presentations by Gunnhild Skjold (University of Tromsö), May-Britt Öhman (LTU/Uppsala Universitet), Ulla Timlin (University of Oulu) och Anastasia Emelyanova (University of Oulu).

The finale of the event was a panel discussion between Pekka Aikio, former president of the Sámi Parliament in Finland, Tonje Johansen, advisor for the Sámi Council, Marie Persson Njajta, board member of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden, and Sofia Kling, lead coordinator for the Knowledge Network on Sámi Health.

The event was made possible by financial and administrative support from the Umeå Transformation Research Initiative, who was also present during the day. With some more work the recording of the event will be made available with subtitles, and with a Davvesámegiella language edition, but is already available in English here.