Community meetings: ICE LAW subproject ‘Local and Indigenous Perspectives’

by Anna Stammler-Gossmann

The Indigenous and Local Perspectives subproject (ICE LAW: Indeterminate and Changing Environments) documents perspectives informed by understandings of land, water, and ice, and explores responses to changed geophysical and political environments (

Shifting water-ice-scape was discussed from local, indigenous and academic perspectives during three community meetings in Finland (Lapland), Norway (Finnmark) and Russia (Republic of Sakha Yakutia), organized within ICE LAW sub-project “Local and indigenous perspectives” by Arctic Centre (Anna Stammler-Gossmann).

greenland  daniloff

                                   Photos: Anna Stammler-Gossmann

The common themes of these three events were:

  • Local needs and pressures related to environmental changes, and their relevance for political and legal decisions;
  • Specific contexts of practice and theory, social life of climate change models;
  • Knowing from inside, academic and local expertise exchange.

The general approach in framing of organized events in three different locations included developing of specific agendas proposed by the communities’ representatives themselves and conducting workshops, related to specific water-ice-land contexts of practices.

At the same time practical and observational engagement with the environment, perception, performances, and creativity in dealing with changes associated with climate change were discussed in a very specific local context. Events in Finland, Norway and Russia differed greatly in scale, content, discourses and diversity of participants.

All three events showed how crucial the practical and observational engagement with the world around us is for designing of sustainable living and communities’ well-being. Bringing together local practitioners, researchers, NGOs and policy-makers in addressing environmental concerns framed in a way, how meetings were designed, resulted in a new vision of collaboration as an interlinking of lines of interest.


The organiser gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Leverhulme Trust (grant number 220000061711)