Arcticportal News
Parody of "Uptown Funk" by Dolgans Herders
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Written by Federica   
Monday, 17 August 2015 09:49

Screenshot from the video (source: Youtube)Screenshot from the video (source: Youtube)A group of Dolgan herders have released few time ago a parody of the hit  "Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mars". The song, available on youtube with English subtitles, describes with irony and pride life " all around the Polar Circle", where "who cares if it gets below fifty in winter".

Beside being a very fun parody of the more popular pop-song, the song provides also a very good insight on the people living in the Russian Arctic. 


Looking at "The People of the Red Book", to undersatnd who are the Dolgans, it reads: "the self-designation is dolghan, dulghan (meaning probably 'people living on the middle reaches of the river'), but the following names have also been used: toa, pl. toalar, toakihi, pl. toakihilär 'people of the wood', toatagolar 'nomadic people', tagal or tägäl, 'a tribe, a people'. The self-designation of the Yakuts, haka or saha, has also been recorded. In 1935--59 the self-designation of the Yakuts, saha, was used as an official Russian name for the Dolgans inhabiting the Taimyr National Territory. The Dolgans themselves do not identify with the Yakuts, and they actually differ considerably from the Yakuts in their language and their ethnic culture. The variety of self-designations reflects the ethnic history of the Dolgans, and the relatively short span this history encompasses. The name Dolgan became known outside the tribe itself only as late as the 19th century".


Another website, Arcticphoto, adds "the Dolgans live on the Taymyr Peninsula in the central Siberian Arctic. They number about 7,000 and nowadays, they are mainly to be found living in settlements along the Dudypta, Kheta and Khatanga Rivers as well as the shores of Khatanga Bay. The Khatanga area, for example, has an average January temperature of minus 33.8° Celsius with frequent winter storms. Just to the south of their territory in Taymyr lies the port of Dudinka and the industrial town of Norilsk whose pollutants are found right across the Arctic. Their traditional economy is based on a combination of reindeer breeding, hunting wild reindeer, as well as other game, trapping and fishing. The reindeer herders follow the common system of moving north in the spring and south in the autumn following traditional migration routes. These are changed each year, so that the group returns to the original route every fourth year, depending on the condition of the pastures. Slaughtering of domestic reindeer is normally done in November, when the reindeer are closest to the herders' villages. Dolgan reindeer herders use baloks rather than tents. These are small huts, mounted on sled runners and insulated with reindeer skin. They have small stoves in them which burn coal that the herders bring form the villages. Most Dolgans nowadays live in settlements. Often these villages are small with only a few hundred people with wooden houses heated by coal. The facilities are usually very basic with no mains water or sewage system."


However, the reader may get a better understanding listening to the song, "So if you still question why I stay here living in winter when there's snow everywhere,

I'll tell you, my friend, the reasons for me: Just look at this sky, it's so endless and blue,the valleys are green and covered with dew, The rivers are mighty, the air's crystal clear,the lakes are as clean as a drop of a tear! We pray to the spirits of hunting and fire, Preserving our land is our greatest desire. Late souls of our ancestors are what we admire. So open your heart and take yourself higher!"


Whatch the video here. 





President Obama Previews His Upcoming Trip to Alaska (video)
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Written by Federica   
Friday, 14 August 2015 10:46

Arctic sea-ice: Summer-ice 2014(light blue area), Winter-ice 2015(dark blue area) and median lines 1979-2010 Arctic sea-ice: Summer-ice 2014(light blue area), Winter-ice 2015(dark blue area) and median lines 1979-2010 (map by Arctic Portal)Later this month, President Obama will travel to Alaska and shine a spotlight on what Alaskans in particular have come to know: Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face, it is being driven by human activity, and it is disrupting Americans' lives right now.  For this occasion, the White House has released an official video on youtube, in which the President explains why tackling climate change must be a priority.  

"Alaskans are on the front line of one of the greatest challange we face this century: climate change", President says, " it seems like a problem for future generations, but for most Americans it is already a reality".Many activities, as hunting and fishing, are threatened in Alaska, while entire villages  are even sinking as consequence of climate change, especially glaciers melting and permafrost sinking. 

For the first time in the U.S., the Obama administration has been working hard both to rise awareness on climate change and its global effects. Also as chair of the Arctic Council for the next 2 coming years, the US has set "Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change "as one of the 3 focus areas of their program: "The impacts of climate change in the Arctic, a region where people, animals and plants have thrived for thousands of years, threaten communities and their ways of life, as well as the ecosystems upon which these communities depend. The Arctic Council is addressing the impacts of climate change in the Arctic by targeting shortlived climate pollutants through reductions in black carbon and methane emissions. Arctic Council activities to enhance access to adaptation and resilience tools, and promote the development of climate change indicators and high-resolution mapping, will increase scientists, communities, policymakers and the public's understanding of the impacts of climate change" (from the Program for the US Chairmanship). 


Watch the Video here


Upcoming Event: 2015 Polar Law Symposium
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Written by Federica   
Thursday, 13 August 2015 10:57

"Polarlicht 2" (Photo: United States Air Force,  Senior Airman Joshua Strang)"Polarlicht 2" (Photo: United States Air Force, Senior Airman Joshua Strang, licensed via wikipedia)The Eighth Polar Law Symposium will be held in Alaska, September 23-26 2015. 

The event is co-hosted by Alaska Pacific University (APU), the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Alaska Anchorage (through its Justice Center and its Institute of Social and Economic Research), the University of Washington School of Law, and Vermont Law School, in cooperation with the Arctic Law Section of the Alaska Bar Association. The symposium will be held on both campuses of the University of Alaska:

  • September 23–24 (Wed–Thu) at University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Wood Center
  • September 25–26 (Fri—Sat) at University of Alaska Anchorage
  • University of Alaska (UAA)/Alaska Pacific University Consortium Library

As the Eighth Annual meeting, it  continues the tradition of this truly international Polar Law Symposium, which was first held in 2008 in Iceland and took place last year in Australia. Special thanks to our organizing committee member colleagues at The University of the Arctic, The Polar Law Institute of the University of Akureyri, Iceland, and the Northern Institute of Environmental and Minority Law (NIEM) of the Arctic Centre at U Lapland, Finland.

The 2015 Polar Law Symposium asks three overarching questions:

  • How can lawyers and other legal scholars interact with scientists and academics from other disciplines to the benefit of the Arctic?
  • What can lawyers and academics from all disciplines contribute to each others' understanding of issues of common concern?
  • Can models of cooperation among scientists, scholars, and lawyers from other geographic areas be adapted for the Arctic?

As the Preliminary Program shows, among the themes to be addressed are:

The relationship of science and law in polar regions
Marine policy and law
International frameworks for Polar Law
Risk and security issues in the Arctic
Indigenous peoples rights
Energy and environmental justice
Arctic resource governance


For more information and for register please click here



CNARC Fellowship Program for Year 2015 -2016
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Written by Federica   
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 10:24

CNARC buildingCNARC buildingWith the successful first-year try-out of CNARC fellowship program in Year 2014, CNARC Secretariat is about to launch its Fellowship Program for Year 2015 - 2016. In this new round of application, fellowships shall be granted to 2 Nordic and 2 Chinese fellow candidates respectively, to advance their own research project that falls on CNARC's research priorities or the themes of the 4th China-Nordic Arctic Cooperation Symposium (CNACS) to be held in Rovaniemi, Finland, 2016, for a 1-3 month period in an institute within CNARC's network. 

The fellowship program offers opportunities for excellent researchers from both China and Nordic states, under the collaborative framework of the China-Nordic Arctic Research Center (CNARC), to conduct joint research within leading research institutes in Arctic studies. The program allows researchers to advance their own research projects while contributing to an increased awareness, understanding and knowledge of the Arctic and its impacts for both China and the Nordic states.

To note that fellow candidates are supposed to submit their application no later than September 15th, along with a recommendation letter from a CNARC Member Institute. Successful candidates shall choose to conduct the fellowship during the following period: October 15th 2015 – May 15th 2016. More details related to the guideline, requirements, application form and contact information will be found here (guidelines) and here (application form)

The 8th NRF Open Assembly - Reykjavik, 14-15 October 2015
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Written by Federica   
Tuesday, 11 August 2015 10:26

NRF logo NRF logo The third annual Trans Arctic Agenda will merge with the 8th NRF Open Assembly and take place in Reykjavik, Iceland on 14-15 October 2015. The theme of 2015 is Engaging Cultural Heritage when Building Resilience. The seminar is organized by the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies at the University of Iceland and the Northern Research Forum in cooperation with the University of Akureyri and the Global Arctic Project ( The Trans Arctic Agenda takes a critical and inclusive approach to Arctic issues, opening the debate between different stakeholders by inviting speakers from the academic and policy circles, representing different disciplines and sectors. Like in 2014, this year the seminar will create a link into the Arctic Circle Assembly scheduled to take place in Iceland the same week, on 16-18 October.
The Centre for Arctic Policy Studies (CAPS) was launched at the 2013 Trans Arctic Agenda. CAPS is a forum for interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of Arctic research with an emphasis on the role and policies of states and institutions, non-state and corporate actors, and broader aspects of governance, culture and society in the Arctic and High North. CAPS organizes conferences, seminars and lectures on Arctic issues.
The centre also runs two publication series, offering occasional papers as well as working papers, available in hard copy and online.
The Northern Research Forum (NRF) launched 1999 provides an international platform for an effective dialogue between members of the research community and a wide range of other stakeholders. The main mission of the NRF is to address the critical issues and highlight the opportunities which face people living in the regions of the Circumpolar North. NRF´s main activity is an Open Assembly every second year, where NRF emphasizes open discussion and the participation of young researchers. The 2015 event will be the 8th NRF Open Assembly, now in co-operation with the Centre for Arctic Policy Studies. (For more detailed
information see,
The biennial NRF Open Assembly, as well as the annual Trans Arctic Agenda, has attracted attention from high-level officials, politicians, media, leading  academics and the civil society in Iceland and elsewhere in the Arctic region.
The Centre for Arctic Policy Studies at the University of Iceland and the Northern Research Forum support education and training and have placed strong emphasis on the role of young researchers in the seminars, their role is two folded, to present their own research and by summing up the sessions and thereby
contributing to the seminars summary report.
This year the Trans Arctic Agenda will split into three plenary sessions and three breakout sessions around the following themes:
• Cultural heritage and human resources as part of 'industrial civilization' - case studies of para-diplomacy and
Indigenous / local knowledge
• Representation of Arctic stakeholders and their internal communication
• The interplay between science diplomacy, material and immaterial values: How can the Arctic be a space/ model for peace, sustainability and innovation?
For further information see and

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