Grant Type

Engaged Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Paris-Saclay, U. (Versailles)

Grant number

Gr. ERG-47

Approve Date

February 5, 2024

Project Title

LAVRILLIER, Alexandra (Paris-Saclay, U. (Versailles)) "An Arctic Indigenous Knowledge System and Anthropological Observation of Changes in Climate, Biodiversity, and Society"

“The natural environment is broken!” say the Evenki reindeer herders, frontline witnesses of climate change in Siberia, which increasingly affects the cryosphere, biodiversity, and the landscape. Based on daily indigenous observations from community-driven observatories and experience gained since 2013, our project sits on the frontiers between indigenous knowledge systems, social anthropology, and the environmental sciences. Our team includes a social and cultural anthropologist, an indigenous reindeer herder and co-researcher, and 25 reindeer-herder families, including 12 Evenki observers in 6 community-driven observatories (C-D observatories) spread across a territory of 76,000 km2, as well as natural scientists. Each of the 6 Evenki C-D observatories corresponds to subareas with specific types of rivers, landscapes, nomadic families, microclimatic peculiarities, and ongoing socio-economic changes. We will approach these changes on the basis of indigenous knowledge and long-term observation, build new bridges with the sciences, and produce outcomes for international native and non-native students, the public, and policy makers. In 2024-25, we will contribute to an Evenki assessment report on changes in the climate, biodiversity, and society, bringing the voices of this indigenous minority to the international regulation climate and biodiversity. We will also deliver a paper on the epistemology of anthropology related to these studies.