Started a new research network

Forskningsnettverk skal forstå erfaringene og utfordringene som urfolk med funksjonshemninger møter i Arktis.
THE NEW NETWORK. From the left: Merete Fabritius, Trond Bliksvær, Birgit Pauksztat, Elisabeth Johannessen, Janet Jull, Moira Hutchinson, Hanne Jakobsen and Sophie Elixhauser. Virtually: Line Melbøe, Barbara Schellhanmmer, Gunnar Michelsen, Anja Hynne Nielsen, Annapia Ferrara, Teija Kaartokallio and Cecilie Kolflaath Larsen. Not in the photo: Nina Dahl, Ryan Weber and Laura William.

The experiences of Indigenous People with disabilities in the Arctic are often overlooked or marginalised. A brand new research network aims to change that.

Birgit Pauksztat, a senior researcher at Nordland Research Institute, organised a workshop on May 31st on the experiences of Indigenous People with disabilities in the Arctic. 

– We wanted to bring together an international and interdisciplinary group of researchers and experts interested in the experiences and inclusion of Indigenous People with disabilities in the Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Sápmi, says Pauksztat.

The workshop successfully brought together 19 researchers from 10 countries.

-We had excellent conversations, formed a network, and will continue collaborating. The aim was to develop a joint research agenda, and we succeeded in that, says Pauksztat.


Aims for a large joint project

The new network will collaborate on a joint funding proposal for a future research project.

– We see there is a need for a larger, comparative project, says Pauksztat.

In recent years, she has seen an increasing spotlight on diversity and inclusion in research. Still, in the Arctic, the focus has often been on gender.

– People with disabilities are often overlooked. The existing studies tend to be limited in geographical scope and usually have a one-sided, preferably medical, perspective, she says.

People have paid little attention to how individuals with disabilities experience everyday life, with a few exceptions.

– A comparative, interdisciplinary approach is necessary to understand the experiences and challenges faced by Indigenous People with disabilities in the Arctic, says Pauksztat.
– That is the purpose of the new research network.


The workshop was organized at Valnesfjord Health Sports Center and was a collaboration between Nordland Research Institute and the Center for Sami and Indigenous Studies at Nord University. The Research Council of Norway has supported the initiative.