The Future of Governance and handling Vulnerability in the Arctic
Hearing speakers who are from the Arctic, talk about the future of handling governance and the vulnerability that goes along with it brings thoughts back to how my grandfather and his colleagues tackled these same problems. Back in the 70’s him and a few of his colleagues formed the North Slope Borough and had a bunch of things put in their way that would’ve stopped them from forming what we have today, but nothing did. What they formed was a self-governed borough that would facilitate its peoples for generations to come – and it did. They were prepared in the beginning, they built houses, installed plumbing and heating in every home, and built schools which had those amenities. What they weren’t prepared for was the long run – today – where there are many families are facing problems that no officials of the borough are taking serious, such as food security, and what the future holds for the coming generations.
Looking at how policymakers of the/regarding the arctic tackle these problems, shows what others should take into consideration and put into effect for the near future.
My time in Kautokeino was special, because there are reindeer herders like Isaat Tuuri, who are facing a huge problem with the government controlling their lands. He brought us to his cabin, roughly 30 miles or 40 kilometers from Alta, Norway, and told us how him, and his herd of reindeer is being affected by how the government of Norway and Finland are pulling out maps and making borders between one and another reindeer herders lands. He elaborated that he can’t control his reindeer on where they roam – nor can he force them to do so.
He brought myself and a few other youth of Alaska, relatively close to his herd and it showed us what he does on a weekly basis, and it was amazing. Although my time there was short – i learned a lot of new things, and i saw some similarities between two cultures, the Sami – of Norway, and the Inupiat – of Alaska.
By Eben W. Hopson, Senior, Barrow High School, Alaska
DISCLAIMER: These posts are contributions from participants in Arctic Frontiers Young Ambassadors program and do not necessarily reflect the views of Arctic Frontiers.