An Indigenous Understanding of Sustainability

Chaired by Dr Laura Siragusa (University of Helsinki;, and Assistant Professor Pirjo Virtanen (University of Helsinki;

This panel addresses indigenous perspectives of sustainability, appreciating that this concept might be understood and experienced differently by policy-makers, scholars, and indigenous (and non-) communities living in different environments. Therefore, not only we invite papers that discuss how processes of extractivism, environmental change, migration, and social differentiation affect (and are affected by) indigenous communities, but that also tackle the following questions: – How do indigenous communities conceptualize (if at all) sustainability? – How do indigenous peoples understand and/or perform a sustainable lifestyle? – To what extent do these practices match the political discourse and scholarly endeavours around the concept of sustainability? – How do sustainability discourses affect (and are affected by) indigenous communities? Discussing sustainability in relation to indigenous communities raises questions related to methodology, too. Thus, we suggest pondering what kind of methods may (or may not) guarantee cooperation between scholars and indigenous communities to produce knowledge sustainability, and secure a dialogue with other institutions of power.

Working Group Programme:

Thursday 15th February
Part I at 14:00-15:30 Room 309
Skolt Sami environmental sustainability
Panu Itkonen (Arctic Center)

Indigenous concepts of arts sustainability in contemporary music, dance and theatre: Cases from Indigenous Canada and Sápmi
Klisala Harrison (University of Helsinki)

Epistemicide through fragmentation and valuation in an Arctic context
Tiina Jääskeläinen (Hanken School of Economics, Management & Organisation)

Small Scale Mining in an Indigenous Community in Northern Philippines
Corazon L. Abansi and Santos José O. Dacanay (University of the Philippines)

Part II at 16:00-17:30, Room 312
Welfare Rituals and Indigenous principles of Sustainability in Northern Philippines
Leah Abayao (Cordillera Studies Center, University of the Philippines Baguio)

Climate-Smart Landscapes in Southern Africa
Antti Erkkilä (University of Eastern Finland)

A decolonial feminist perspective on sustainable development and climate change in South India: Indigenous social movements struggling for food sovereignty
Christine Loew (Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences)

Aboriginal conceptions of the forest in the Soy era: frontiers of deforestation in the Argentine Chaco
Heike Schaumberg (University of Reading)