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finland: learning from indigenous worldviews

Modern lifestyles in the industrialized world have caused serious damage to the Earth in just a few decades – whilst around the world, Indigenous Peoples have lived sustainably for millennia.

finland exhibit

We in the Global North have much to learn from Indigenous People – yet in many countries, Indigenous communities’ rights are being undermined and traditional lifestyles are under threat.


what happened?

Friends of the Earth Finland ran a project to encourage people to reflect on how we could live more sustainably, and to raise awareness of the rights of Indigenous communities.


They produced a 20-page illustrated booklet, and an exhibition comprising 16 posters and a webpage, all using photographs and quotes to showcase Indigenous views of the Earth. These were produced with the help of Indigenous colleagues from India, Guatemala, Kenya and Burundi, as well as Friends of the Earth International groups and others working on Indigenous issues.


The materials were used at seminars, workshops, campaign events and festivals, as well as at the European Social Forum in Sweden. The posters were also exhibited at an Indigenous film festival in Turku and a restaurant in Tampere.


FoE Finland also published a magazine, Wild Forests: Making Sense with People, which contained articles on Indigenous forest communities in India; this was distributed at the World Social Forum in Brazil in January 2009.


what changed?

The materials were very successful in helping to promote discussion on Indigenous ways of life and worldviews.


what next?

Logistical challenges meant that not all the materials were distributed in 2008, so FoE Finland will distribute the remaining copies in 2009.


with thanks to our funders: the isvara foundation

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