Fatal Thaw: The Sámi Fight to Preserve an Ancient Culture as the Arctic Warms

TakePart — SEVETTIJÄRVI, Finland—We enter the taiga forest from a trailhead at the end of a dirt road, not far from a shed where a fresh reindeer hide had been nailed up to dry. After an easy 20-minute walk along a path of fallen pine needles and spongy moss, the trees fall away before a wide channel of big black rocks, which extended for about a quarter-mile in either direction between two small ponds.

We are looking at the Vainosjoki River, a tributary of the 62-mile Näätämö River. But the only sign of the river is the sound of water flowing through a deep cleft in the middle of the otherwise dry channel.