About the research project "Dálkke: Indigenous Climate Change"

Dálkke is based at CEMFOR, Department of Theology at Uppsala University, and collaborates with Luleå University of Technology, Michigan State University and universities in Canada, US, Australia and Japan, as well as Indigenous communities and associations.  The project forms part of ongoing efforts by Indigenous and allied scholars, knowledge keepers, scientists, change-makers, and leaders to create a field to support Indigenous peoples’ capacities to analyze and address the consequences as well as mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic climate change – thereby contributing to the establishment of the field Indigenous Climate Change Studies.

Within the project we analyze consequences of climate change, how different political actions within the energy sector claimed to mitigate climate change – such as wind power, nuclear power, hydropower, solar cells and in general the production of electricity – affects Indigenous communities already under hard pressure from colonization – and how animal, forest, lands and waters are affected. We analyze the technological design of energy production and raise questions about how the design and shape of energy technology systems relate to the goals for increased or reduced consumption in general.

Questions asked:

  • How does energy and climate politics and actions from governments, international non-governmental organisations and social movements affect climate, animals, birds, lands, waters as well as contemporary and future sustainability, food security and human security?

  • How and why are Indigenous peoples  and their perspectives excluded – or included – in climate politics, action and commercial businesses in local, regional, national and international level?

  • How do Indigenous peoples work to promote their perspectives in these issues and what are the scopes for Indigenous peoples’ perspectives to be strengthened?

  • What technical, social and sociotechnical innovations considered as interesting and useful for Indigenous peoples?

  • How can technical, social and sociotechnical innovations be developed and implemented while respecting Indigenous peoples territories, culture and communities?

  • How should support be provided to Indigenous peoples for themselves develop technical, social and sociotechnical innovations to reduce negative impacts from climate change, dependency on fossil fuels and fossil dependent energy production?

Dálkke analyses and challenges international non-governmental organisations, NGOs, social movements, political parties as well as governments’ politics and actions in their work to mitigate climate change impacts. We analyze the causes to why Indigenous peoples’ knowledge, experiences, expertise, innovation and issues often are excluded in those contexts. We also investigate the scope for Indigenous peoples’ perspective to be promoted in such work. Questions about racism towards Indigenous Peoples is expressed, for instance in processes of exclusion, forced historical amnesia and the reproduction of ignorance, are prominent part of the research work, along with aspects of gender and sex.

Dálkke consists of several subprojects. We collaborate with enterprises, individual reindeer herders, artists, film makers, knowledge keepers, associations and communities and welcome proposals for collaboration as well as support. An important ambition in the project is to contribute to the establishment of Indigenous Climate Change Studies as a research field.

The project reference is FORMAS Dnr 2017-01923, within the Swedish National Research Programme on Climate, and is led by Dr May-Britt Öhman. The project benefits from collaboration with amongst other Safe and sustainable energy futures in Sápmi  FORMAS Dnr 2016-01039.

  • Below you will find more information about indigenous peoples, indigenous peoples´rights and indigenous research - Indigenous Studies.

Last modified: 2023-10-12