Cultural histories and traditional knowledge of resource use

 “Cultural histories and traditional knowledge of resource use” research area covers expertise in Sámi culture and language, archaeology, history and human geography. This includes information on long-term changes in the ways people have lived in the Arctic and used the Arctic natural resources. Research on the history and current practices of extraction of natural resources and other industries in the Arctic has pioneered in understanding the cultural implications and ongoing colonial legacy of mining industry in Lapland. The research provides understanding on social and cultural effects of transformations of reindeer herding practices, as well as building sustainable reindeer herding to cope with changing environment and climate. In Sámi cultural studies the main research themes have been recent history of ethnic relations in the Sámi area, indigenous concepts of cultural environment, and modern Sámi identity reflected in politics, media and art. Tourism research perspectives focus on regional development, sustainability and adaptation to changing environment.

“Cultural histories and traditional knowledge of resource use” research area is related to the social sciences and humanities to study sustainable use and management of natural resources in the Circumpolar North for human wellbeing. Research cover cultural histories and traditional environmental knowledge of natural resource uses in various scales to identify key cultural conceptions, values and practices, that are focal for local communities in adapting to changing environmental and societal conditions from past to present and future.


Reseach groups or units at the University of Oulu

Cultural Anthropology
Giellagas Institute
Human-Animal Interaction Group
Regional and Political Geography
Tourism Geographies

Principal Investigators

Prof. Hannu I. Heikkinen (cultural anthropology)
Prof. Vesa-Pekka HERVA (archaeology)
Prof. Veli-Pekka LEHTOLA (Giellagas)
Prof. Anni-Siiri LÄNSMAN (Giellagas)
Prof. Anssi PAASI (regional and political geography)
Prof. Anna-Kaisa SALMI (archaeology, human-animal relationships)
Prof. Jarkko SAARINEN (tourism geographies)

Last updated: 14.12.2020