In spring of 2021 I participated in Feminist Futures Helsinki hackathon, an inclusive space for anyone and everyone who wants to take part in shaping the future of Finnish society. The two week long research project was organized by a group of Aalto University MA students from creative sustainability program.
I was selected to work on a Eco Justice track, where our goal was to find ways to support Sámi community preserve the oral and visual tradition of passing knowledge in their own terms. How might we create and maintain spaces where people can meet across generations, backgrounds and experiences, recognising these histories in Finland but also looking to the future(s) of the environmental movement?
The Ellos Deatnu! -group [Long Live Deatnu!] resists the new Deatnu Agreement and supports the self-determination of the Sámi people and their local governance of the Deatnu area. The group consists of local Sámi from the Deatnu area as well as other activists.
Snowchange Cooperative are devoted to the advancement of our traditions and culture. They hold the traditional knowledge, stories, handicrafts, fishing and hunting and other elements of our forest culture sacred. In the past 19 years Snowchange has developed into a major force in international climate and indigenous policy and research.
Things that we learned from the shared sources, community representatives and firsthand accounts:
The Sámi have practices that allows nature to flourish and to live in harmony with nature. They are looking for interconnectedness between everyone.
Mentoring opened us the window to explore notions of colonialism within Finnish context such as how the observations made by locals are consciously ignored by the academic community from contributing as valid proof for global warming.
Sámi community  have been the subjects of many academic studies but largely those studies do not benefit them. Science and education are the tools chosen by the Finnish state to accelerate the erasure of Sámi culture and identity.  
Sámi community wants to solve their own problems, as they hold the knowledge. And even though there is support from from other indigenous, bipoc, and marginalised communities - The allyship network is very small and fragile. People are not replaceable. Every community, tribe, family and individual has their own story and voice that deserves to be preserved.
Reframed brief: Spaces for Dialogue for Climate Change
We started looking into citizen science, that is a low threshold democratic tool that could help to gather and store observational data and bring forth the sámi voice that has not been listened to.
By sourcing information through participatory action research and monitoring, the findings could help to advance scientific research, and improve the public understanding by making the outcomes publicly available.
Based on these insights we reframed the brief for ourselves:
How might we flip the disservice done to the Sámi by the academic community, since they have been the subject to a lot of studies to the point of loss of privacy?
What kind of opportunities could there be for providing access to archived generational knowledge within a community?
And how about securing data on an online platform? Ensuring a privacy and safety within this space needs to be prioritized.
Shreyasi Kar, Design innovation specialist at Aalto Design Factory
Joona Järvinen, MA student in Collaborative and Industrial Design
Nasim Ali, MS student in International Design Business Management
Arunima Jain, MA student in Creative Sustainability
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