News Archive


Aoluguya, the village of the Ewenki reindeer herding people of Inner Mongolia, China, was flooded last weekend following heavy rainfall on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

As a consequence, all inhabitants of the village were evacuated on Sunday evening and moved to a gym in nearby Gen He city. According to a local source, the villagers are entering their second week of lodging in the gym, unable to return to Aoluguya where electricity is still cut off.

The the 5th Congress of the Association of World Reindeer Herders (AWRH) was opened on Wednesday last week and succesfully brought to its completion on Sunday.

The first day of congress gathering saw Scotland unaminously accepted as a member region of the AWHR. The Reindeer Company, represented by its Director, Ms. Elisabeth Smith, better known as Tilly Smith, had sent in an application for Scotland to become a member region in February this year.

The Ewenki people of the Aoluguya village on the outskirts of the city of Genhe, Inner Mongolia, counting only around 240 individual, is known as China’s smallest minority and the only reindeer herding people of the country.

Having become members of the Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH) in 2009, the Aoluguya Ewenki will host the associations 5th Congress next week, 25th to 29th of July. Hundreds of people from all over the reindeer herding world, including from Scotland that is now applying for WRH membership, are expected to find their way to Aoluguya, either via Beijing or via Russia.

The reindeer herding Aoluguya Ewenki is one of 4 Ewenki groups, all in all around 25,000 people, living within China, most of them in the Northeastern most part of the region of Inner Mongolia, all in all around 25,000 people.


The – fashionably incorrectly named - World Eskimo Indian Olympics (WEIO) are taking place in Fairbanks, Alaska, these days.

The Olympics encompass disciplines like Alaskan High Kick, Native Baby Contest, Greased Pole Walk, Men’s Blanket Toss, Ear Pull, Eskimo as well as Indian Stick Pull, as it is, Seal Skinning and a Muktuk Eating Contest.

These disciplines, according to the website of the WEIO, all “display the preparedness one needed for survival. They require skill as well as strength, agility, and endurance. In this manner, the people could at least teach the children that they had to be tough to make it on their own, not just in one area, but in all. The games left no part of the body untested.”

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 12:59

Danish is cool in Greenland


With news of global warming impacting Greenland more than any other part of the world, it seems one of the few things that stays cool there is the Danish language.

“With the arrival in a class of 20 pupils or so of 3 or 4 new Danish-speaking classmates, the common language of the class will slowly but surely shift from Greenlandic to Danish. It makes no difference how hard you try to retain the Greenlandic language,” said teacher at the Hans Lynge primary school in Nuuk, Greenland, Johannes A. Berthelsen to the Atuagagdliutit newspaper.

10 years ago, in 2003, a school reform integrating Greenlandic and Danish speaking children saw the light of day. Prior to that, the schools in Greenland were divided into Greenlandic speaking and Danish speaking classes, a practice that went back about half a century.

Monday, 15 July 2013 12:40

Migrants of the High North


A new film, "Vanishing Point", documents the migration of a group of Inuit between what today is Nunavut and Greenland. The migration took place quite recently, you could say, about a century and a half ago. Which is not very long ago, taking into account the millennia of Inuit roaming the High Arctic. And yet, much has changed since then.

Through the voices of descendants of the immigrants in present day Qaanaaq, Northwest Greenland, filmmakers Julia Szucs and Stephen Smith recount a story that has been told many times before. In Greenland, it is is very well known. It is a story that keeps fascinating storytellers and audiences for a very basic reason shared by all good stories: it is good to think with.

It’s the story about Qillarsuaq, a shaman living with his 50 or so fellow tribespeople somewhere in what is today known as Baffin Island in the Canadian Territory of Nunavut. Qillarsuaq convinced his people it would be a good idea to go on a long journey in search of some other people he did not know but had heard about.

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Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples' Secretariat
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