Arctic Indigenous peoples have a vivid and active storytelling tradition, with stories that have played an essential role in maintaining sustainable living in the Sámi and other Indigenous people’s traditional living areas. By telling their own stories and being in charge of their narratives, they create a new future for their people. This is why all Indigenous peoples must have the ultimate right to tell their own stories about climate change in the Arctic tipping points — ice caps melting, permafrost collapsing, and changing the Oceans and vanishing the snow. How we can fight back?

This panel was held held in coordination with the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues 2023. The panel discussion featured film director Elle Máijá Tailfeathers (Sámi/Blackfoot, Canada), film producer Emile Hertling Péronard (Inuk, Greenland), director Anna Hoover (Unangax̂, USA), and AIFF’s Liisa Holmberg (Sápmi), moderated by Jason Ryle (Canada). Welcoming notes to the program were provided by Dariio Mejia Montalvo (Chair of the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues) and Aslak Holmberg (President, Saami Council). The discussion followed by a screening of the documentary short Salmon Reflection (dir. Anna Hoover, Alaska, 2022), and a reception.

This event was organized by the American-Scandinavian Foundation with Arctic Indigenous Film Fund and the International Sámi Film Institute (Kautokeino, Sápmi), Saami Council (Sápmi), Greenland Film Makers (Nuuk, Greenland), and the University of the Arctic. The event was part of the activities of the UArctic Thematic Network on Arctic Indigenous Film.

Arctic Indigenous Film Fund AIFF was founded in 2018 at the Indigenous Film Conference in Kautokeino, Norway. The goals of the AIFF are to support, advocate and change financial structures so Indigenous peoples can tell their own stories on their own terms. The founders were the major film institutes and organizations in every Arctic Indigenous area in Canada, Russia, Greenland, and Sápmi.