“Indigenous Sacred Natural Places and Environmental and Heritage Conservation” talk by Vesa Matteo Piludu

November 2 (Wednesday) 16.00-17.00 (Helsinki) 14.00-15.00 (GMT), hybrid

Indigenous Sacred Natural Places and Environmental and Heritage Conservation

For ZOOM Link Register HERE the day before the event. You will receive the zoom link an hour before the program begins.

Vesa Matteo Piludu

Indigenous Studies, Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies, Faculty of Arts. Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS). University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


Indigenous sacred natural places often have a rich biodiversity, including rare and endemic vegetal and animal species that are of great cultural importance for Indigenous peoples. The sacred places are also connected to a complex web of historical or archeological remains, rituals, oral stories, musical and artistic traditions that form the “living core” of indigenous identities. Analyzing case studies, as the Gwaii Haanas of the Haida Gwaii archipelago (Canada), this presentation aims to show that the Indigenous activism related to the protection of the sacred places has created innovative forms of Indigenous environmental and cultural heritage conservation that promotes fascinating decolonial practices, the co-governance of protected land, the empowerment of communities, and the revitalization of indigenous cultures and arts.

Vesa Matteo Piludu is a Postdoctoral Researcher of Indigenous Studies at the University of Helsinki. His current research includes Indigenous religions, ontology, and animism; Indigenous and Finno-Ugric traditional and contemporary arts; the relation between the oral histories of Amazonian Indigenous peoples and biodiversity; and the importance of Indigenous sacred places for decolonial forms of environmental and cultural heritage conservation. His publications include edited books, a monograph, articles, and chapters on Finno-Karelian and Ob-Ugrian bear ceremonialism; Siberian and Nepalese shamanism; the relation between Finnish epic songs and the arts; and the writings of Italian travelers about the Sámi, the Indigenous people of Fennoscandia.


Vesa Matteo Piludu. Photo by Author.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *