The APECS Norden Workshop in Helsinki, Finland was a success. From 7-8 April 2014, over 50 early career scientists, mentors and indigenous researchers gathered at the University of Helsinki and Finnish Meteorological Institute to be a part of the APECS Nordic Workshop, “Connecting Early Career Researchers and Community Driven Research in the North”.
Over the course of two days, participants engaged with timely, thought provoking presentations by Gail Fondahl (UNBC, Canada), Heidi Eriksen (Utsjoki Health Center), Anna Afanasyeva (International Barents Secretariat), Arja Rautio (Thule Institute) and Roberto Delgado (USC/NSF), and offered valuable, insights during themed breakout sessions. Sessions topics including existing research policies, stakeholder interests, communication and successful collaboration led to honest, and challenging discussions about the real challenges and concerns that indigenous researchers and non-indigenous researchers face when conducting research in the Arctic. While most agreed, for example, that successful collaborations needed to involve community members in the research process, this was not always taking place. One concern that was raised during the workshop was the scarce representation of Nordic indigenous people in the workshop itself. While every effort was made to advertise the workshop to all possible outlets, there was a higher representation of early career researchers in attendance. This and many other related questions were raised and thoroughly considered over the two days. Workshop participants were informed that the results of these discussions, in addition to the results from the APECS Norden Survey, and the webinars, will be compiled and drafted into a summary guide or report, translated and shared amongst the participants and the APECS network. Participants will be given an opportunity to comment on the draft prior to publication. Over the coming year, the APECS Norden project team expect to continue to disseminate the project at relevant conferences, workshops and meetings.
The APECS Norden project team extends a warm, sincere thanks to all the workshop participants and workshop speakers.