Arctic Indigenous Youth, Climate Change and Food Culture (EALLU)


A continuing project from the U.S. Chairmanship (2015-2017)

A new project initiated during the Finnish Chairmanship (2017-2019)

Project Leads:

Norway, Canada, Kingdom of Denmark, Russian Federation, U.S., AIA, Saami Council.  (The project is managed by the Association of World Reindeer Herders)

Target Completion Date:

March 2019.

Project Summary:

During the US Chairmanship (2015-2017) this project maintained and further developed a sustainable and resilient reindeer husbandry in the Arctic in face of climate change and globalization, while working towards a vision of creating a better life for circumpolar reindeer herders. Sub-goals of the project included:

  • To build awareness of Arctic climate change in northern indigenous youth societies, through enhanced resilience;
  • To document, systematize, make use of and respect the Traditional Knowledge of food cultures of Arctic indigenous/reindeer herding peoples;
  • To work towards knowledge building and experience exchange in and between local indigenous/reindeer herding societies in the Arctic, focusing on food culture and youth;
  • To increase focus on and understanding of Arctic indigenous food cultures and value added, by disseminating and giving a voice to the Traditional Knowledge and food cultures of Arctic indigenous peoples, including by use of and;
  • To stimulate knowledge development for innovation, business development and local value added in Arctic indigenous peoples´ societies and areas, in appropriate ways, working in the intersection between academia and business, between science and traditional knowledge, and between “modernity” and traditions.

The project focused on youth involvement and engagement, seminars and place-based workshops, local capacity building, summer/ winter schools, networking, as well as co-production of project outputs by youth themselves. This project also had an additional goal:  to contribute directly to capacity building in Arctic indigenous societies by virtue of the project contents and process.  The project was initiated and led by Arctic indigenous peoples. It contributed to enhancing local capacity by competence and confidence building, project experience generation and international exposure for indigenous youth.

Key recommendations on food security and culture are summarized in its report and cookbook presented at the Arctic Council Minister Meeting in May 2017.  This cookbook, which shares not only the ingredients of the food, but also its critical context and importance, has been nominated for a Gourmand Award.

For the next phase of the project (2017-2019), it is envisioned to strengthen education components, and make efforts to explore new possibilities for local economic development from northern sea routes.

Click Here for the Full Project Description

Related Activities:

  • The Arctic as a Food Producing Region