Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem of connectivity in its broad sense. Everywhere, especially in the sparsely populated Arctic. Online meetings and discussions substituted normal in-person communication between people, breaking social and cultural ties and traditions. In a situation when isolation is a sine qua non of survival, we think of new ways of staying together with our relatives, friends, compatriots, and simply people and institutions of the same origin, religion or culture. This was the breeding ground for the idea of creating Pan-Arctic Indigenous Peoples’ Radio, a radio station that would broadcast in indigenous languages in the whole circumpolar Arctic region on the basis of existing indigenous languages broadcasting in various parts of the Arctic.
The idea, raised by experts, is receiving initial interest and favorable reaction by indigenous peoples of many Arctic states and authorities of the Arctic regions. Of course, many general and practical aspects need further elaboration. However, even at this early stage, I believe the idea is excellent.
Establishment of a common information space for indigenous peoples of the Arctic would be symbolic and a major contribution to the UN International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032 which is devoted to the preservation, revitalization, and promotion of indigenous languages. It would be a recognition of indigenous solidarity and a recognition by major society and non-indigenous speakers that indigenous groups and languages need to be protected. Also, an input to the reconciliation processes of indigenous peoples with dominant societies under way in Canada and Scandinavia.
For indigenous peoples themselves this would be beneficial for revitalization of their identity, culture, knowledge and practices. It could become a handy instrument for early childhood education and for passing traditional knowledge from elders to younger generations. An easy way to exchange and obtain experience in dealing with climate change, meeting and adapting to new realities, fighting new challenges and seizing new opportunities.