Sámi Perspectives on Indigenous Knowledges, Technology and Governance

Third event of Aalto University’s Color of Science public lectures
Flyer for event on 26 May

Third event of Aalto University’s Color of Science public lectures

UNESCO defines indigenous knowledge as the understandings, skills and philosophies developed by societies with long histories of interaction with their natural surroundings. Each indigenous knowledge system in our world is integral to a cultural complex that also encompasses language, systems of classification, resource use practices, social interactions, ritual and spirituality. Modernist, dominant science has traditionally marginalized and dismissed most of these other knowledge systems, however their vital role in the survival and thriving of our livable world(s) is becoming more visible and undeniable. In this session we will be joined by three accomplished Sámi researchers who will share aspects of their own research topics, activism and interests as they interrogate the relationship of indigenous knowledges, technologies and governance.

Register at: https://link.webropolsurveys.com/EP/8F1C339F816141E8


  • Rauna Kuokkanen (https://rauna.net/) is Research Professor of Arctic Indigenous Studies at the University of Lapland (Finland) and Adjunct Professor of Indigenous Studies and Political Science at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on comparative Indigenous politics and law, Indigenous feminist theory, Arctic governance and settler colonialism. She is a Fulbright Arctic Initiative Fellow for 2021-2022. Amongst many things, Rauna leads the Siida School project (https://siidaskuvla.net/), a community driven renewal of Sámi Siida system, initiated by Sámi scholars, artists and activists that seeks to reconstruct and simulate how and which Siida practices could operate as part of Sámi governance structures today.
  • May-Britt Öhman (https://www.maybrittohman.com/) is Associate Professor of Environmental History at the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism, Uppsala University (SWE) and guest senior lecturer at Luleå Univ. of Technology.   Her research focuses on large scale technical systems, hydropower, energy production/consumption, water resources, environmental issues, decolonization and healing from traumas of colonization – mainly focusing on Sábme/Sápmi, land of the Sámi with a comparative studies dimension. She leads the research group and project Dálkke: Indigenous Climate Change Studies (https://cemfor.uu.se/Research/research-projects/dalkke--indigenous-climate-change-studies/)   May-Britt latest article foregrounds Sámi technological innovation in the Arctic region, challenging its invisibility in the history of humanity using as case study “ski technology”, an innovation dating back more than 5,000 years. 
  • Outi Laiti (https://dihtorastit.com/) is an Affiliate researcher at the University of Helsinki Indigenous studies. Her field of research is education and computer science with a focus on Sami language and culture in digital games and programming. In 2020, gamesindustry.biz nominated her as one of the 100 Game Changers for her work on promoting e.g. Sámi gaming.  Outi is active in co-organizing Sami Game Jams and has been involved in several game development and educational projects in the past. Her doctoral thesis “Old Ways of Knowing, New Ways of Playing” (https://lauda.ulapland.fi/handle/10024/64547) published in January 2021, discusses the potential of collaborative game design to empower indigenous Sámi.
  • Andrea Botero (Host) (https://research.aalto.fi/en/persons/andrea-botero-cabrera) : is Academy of Finland research fellow at the department of Design of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Her design works explores technologies, services, media formats and genres for collectives and communities. Through her research work she aims to understand how collectives come to understand the design spaces available to them and how designers could support more various infrastructuring processes around them.


Color of Science is a university-wide initiative engaging critical perspectives from scientists of color and the indigenous, co-organized by Talayeh Aledavood, Andrea Botero, Karin Fröhlich, Caterina Soldano and Nitin Sawhney.

This event is co-organized with the Academy of Finland project: From the Lab and the studio to the forest, the garden and back at the school of arts design and architecture (ARTS)  in Aalto.

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