Photo: Tapio Nykänen

Sanna Valkonen

Dr. Sanna Valkonen is a Sámi scholar from Northern Finland. She is Professor of Sámi Research at the University of Lapland and PI of the projects.

Her academic background is in political science, but she has concentrated during her whole research career on developing the field of social scientific Sámi research. The main themes in her research have dealt with politics of indigeneity, belonging, political subjectivity and identity, gender, religion as well as related
power relations in the Sámi context. Recently, the focus in her research has extended to the questions of Sámi cultural heritage and human-environment relations as well as traditional knowledge and developing Sámi research concepts and methods in cooperation with Sámi artists and cultural experts.

Áile Aikio

Áile Aikio (Luobbal-Sámmol-Aimo Áile) is an Indigenous Sámi museum professional. Aikio is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Lapland and has a master’s degree on Ethnology. In her Ph.D. Aikio studies the renewal process of the Siida main exhibition and how the Sámi way to present and represent Sámi culture is part of the exhibition process and the new exhibition. 

Aikio has been curator in Sámi Museum Siida in Anár/Inari in Finland since 2005, first in Collections and since 2016 as Curator of exhibitions and museum pedagogy. At the moment Aikio is on study leave.  Aikio is interested in indigenizing and decolonizing processes, especially how to indigenize cultural heritage management and heritage institutions.

Stina Aletta Aikio

Master of Arts and Design, Stina Aletta Aikio is a Deatnu Sámi experimental artist who combines in their artistic work new media expressions and duodji tradition with modern materials, such as waste and glass. Aikio works actively in the Nordic queer Sámi movement.

Photo: Riikka Vaahtera

Marja Helander

Master of Fine Arts, visual artist and photographer Marja Helander (b.1965) is an internationally recognized and awarded Deatnu Sámi artist who has presented her works in solo and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Her extensive artistic work include photographs, short movies, video art and illustrations. Her recent video works are playful, exploring the contradiction between the traditional Sámi way of life and the modern society. Her recent short film Birds in the Earth won the Risto Jarva Prize in Tampere Film Festival 2018 and The Kent Monkman Award at ImagineNATIVE Film Festival 2018. It was also part of Sundance Film Festival 2019 short film competition. Helander was awarded the Finland Prize year 2019. 

Photo: Minna Rasmus

Veli-Pekka Lehtola

Veli-Pekka Lehtola (born 1957) is Professor of Sámi Culture in the Giellagas Institute at the University of Oulu, Finland. Lehtola is a (North) Sámi from Aanaar or Inari in Northern Finland.

As a researcher, Lehtola is specialised in the history of the Sámi and Lapland, in modern Sámi art, as well as in the development of the Sámi representations. He has published the book The Sámi People – Traditions in Transition in 2004 (University Press of Alaska). His main work in Finnish, Saamelaiset suomalaiset – kohtaamisia 1896-1953 (Sámi Finns – Encounters in 1896-1953 (SKS) was published in 2012. Lehtola has published thirteen books and over a hundred scientific articles in Finnish, Sámi and English, also translated to Swedish, French, German, Hungarian and Russian. Lehtola was the head of the project of the Academy of Finland, Domestication of Indi­genous Discourses? Processes of Constructing Political Subjects in Sápmi (2015-2018), a joint project with the University of Lapland. In 2015-2016 he led the project Developing the Research Services of the Saa­mi Culture Archive of University of Oulu, funded by the Academy of Finland.

Photo: Mika Salo

Sigga-Marja Magga

PhD Sigga-Marja Magga is a researcher of Sámi cultural studies.

She is specialized in Sámi handicrafts, duodji with her own duodji production but also in academic studies. Her special interest is connected to the tensions between the institutionalized duodji and the growth of cultural and social polyphony in the Sámi society: how the Sámis react and construct cultural, political and social changes with and through duodji. She studies gákti, the Sámi dress and its meanings and as a tool in cultural and political resistance and how the gákti changes and constructs different kind of realities and meanings in Sámi society.

Photo: Tarmo Lehtosalo

Mikkal Morottaja

Mikkal Morottaja, known as Amoc, is the first rap artist to rap in Inari Sámi. Amoc started rapping in the late ’90s. His debut album Amok-kaččâm (Amok run) was released in 2007 on the Sámi National Day. In his music, he deals with global issues and faults as well as the human mind and its problems often veiled behind the stories and metaphors. Often, the songs are mood-focused punchline-styled lyrical works of art with background music, flow, and technically thought-out lyrics are creating musical entities. Amoc is an acronym for Aanaar Master of the ceremony (Master of the ceremony of Inari).

Saara Alakorva (former Tervaniemi)

Saara Alakorva (Piera-Jovnna-Leena Saara) is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Lapland and has a master´s degree on International Relations. In her Ph.D. research Alakorva is interested in the Sámi political history and contemporary Sámi political thinking.  As a Sámi scholar herself, Alakorva has deep knowledge on issues of the modern Sámi society. She has also practical experience of working with indigenous issues nationally and internationally.

Photo: Marko Vasara

Ailu Valle

Ailu Valle is a rap artist from Anár, Finnish side of Sápmi, who raps in Northern Sámi, Finnish and English. He has released three solo albums in Northern Sámi, ”Dušši dušše duššat” (2012), ”7” (2015) and ”Viidon sieiddit” (2019). Valle won the Finnish State Culture Prize in 2019, granted by Taike.


Kristen Carpenter

University of Colorado Law School; EMRIP

Kristen Carpenter is the Council Tree Professor of Law and Director of the American Indian Law Program at the University of Colorado Law School, where her teaching, research, and community work focus on the legal claims of indigenous peoples. Professor Carpenter also serves as the Chair- Rapporteur of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP). She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, and has published widely in the areas of human rights, especially in the realm of culture.

Thomas Hylland Eriksen

University of Oslo

Thomas Hylland Eriksen is an anthropologist and writer based at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo. Much of his work is comparative and interdisciplinary. His research has involved fieldwork in several ethnically and culturally complex societies, from Trinidad to eastern Oslo. He has written extensively about ethnicity and the dynamics of culture and identity, nationalism and the politics of identity, cosmopolitanism and human rights, globalisation and its implications for the study of culture and society. Currently, he is studying the contradictions between growth and sustainability, with fieldwork in an industrial city in Queensland, Australia.

Sanna Karkulehto

University of Jyväskylä, Finland
University of Oulu, Finland

In her current research, Professor Sanna Karkulehto is focusing on, for example, transdisciplinary gender and violence research, environmental humanities and human–animal studies, and the ethics and politics of reading. Her most recent books include the co-edited Reconfiguring Human, Nonhuman and Posthuman in Literature and Culture (Routledge 2019) and Gender, Violence and Affect (Palgrave, forthcoming in 2020). In this project she is particularly interested in the questions of the Sámi politics of representation.

Christina Kreps

University of Denver

Christina Kreps is a Professor of Anthropology and specializing in the cross-cultural and comparative study of museums and museological practices. She has carried out ethnographic research on museums and participated in museum development and training programs in the Netherlands, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. At the University of Denver she is Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Museum of Anthropology and Museum and Heritage Studies Program.

Federico Lenzerini

University of Siena

Prof. Dr. Federico Lenzerini is Ph.D., International Law, and Professor of International Law at the Department of Political and International Sciences of the University of Siena (Italy). He is also Professor at the LLM programme in Intercultural Human Rights at the St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami (FL), USA, and Professor at the Tulane-Siena Summer School on International Law, Cultural Heritage and the Arts.

He has been Consultant to UNESCO (Paris), Counsel to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for international negotiations related to cultural heritage, and member of the Italian delegation at meetings of the World Heritage Committee. He has been the Rapporteur of the International Law Association (ILA) ‘Committee on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’, member of the ILA ‘Committee on Cultural Heritage Law’ and is currently Rapporteur of the ILA ‘Committee on the Implementation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’. He has been visiting professor in several foreign universities, including the University of Texas in Austin, the Charles University of Prague, the St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, the universities of Wellington and Waikato Te Piringa in New Zealand, the University of Tulane in New Orleans, the Romanian-American University in Bucharest, the Central European University in Budapest, the University of Warsaw in Poland and the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

His main fields of research are protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, protection of cultural heritage and cultural diversity, safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, human rights, asylum and refugee law. He has published over 100 academic works (including two monographs and five edited books) and held more than 100 lectures in over 20 countries on these and other topics.

Amy Lonetree

University of California

Professor Amy Lonetree is an enrolled citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation and an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

Her scholarly research focuses on Indigenous history, visual culture studies, and museum studies, and she has received fellowships in support of this work from the School for Advanced Research, the Newberry Library, the Bard Graduate Center, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, the Institute of American Cultures at UCLA, and the University of California, Berkeley Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Her publications include, Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums (University of North Carolina Press, 2012); a co-edited book with Amanda J. Cobb, The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations (University of Nebraska Press, 2008); and a co-authored volume, People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879- 1942 (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2011). Amy is currently working on two new projects. The first is a visual history of the Ho-Chunk Nation. This research explores family history, tourism, settler colonialism, and Ho-Chunk survivance through an examination of two exceptional collections of studio portraits and tourist images of Ho-Chunk people taken between 1879-1960. The second research project is a historical study documenting the adoption of Indigenous children throughout the twentieth century.

Tiina Seppälä

University of Lapland

Dr. Tiina Seppälä is a Senior Researcher in International Relations at the University of Lapland and Docent of International Development Studies at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She has engaged with women’s rights and slum activists in Nepal and Bangladesh, anti-eviction movements in India, asylum-seekers in Finland and anti-war activists in the UK. She is interested in activism, social movements, development, displacement, post/decolonial studies, feminist theory, ethnographic research and arts-based methods. She is the author of Globalising Resistance against War? (Routledge, 2012) and co-editor of Arts-Based Methods for Decolonising Participatory Research (Routledge, 2021) and Civil Disobedience from Nepal to Norway (Routledge, forthcoming, 2022).

Marzia Varutti

University of Oslo

Marzia Varutti is Associate Professor in Museology and Cultural Heritage at the Centre for Museum Studies, IKOS, University of Oslo. Her research has focused on relationships between museums and Indigenous Peoples (specifically in Taiwan) and various aspects of the politics of representation in museums. She is the author of Museums in China: The politics of representation after Mao (2014, Boydell & Brewer). Recent articles include ‘Authentic reproductions: museum collection practices as authentication’ (Museum Management and Curatorship); ‘Crafting Heritage: Artisans and the Making of Indigenous Heritage in Contemporary Taiwan’ (International Journal of Heritage Studies); and ‘Polysemic objects and partial translations’ (Museum Anthropology).

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