Rauna Kuokkanen is Research Professor of Arctic Indigenous Studies at the University of Lapland (Finland) and Adjunct Professor of Indigenous Studies and Political Science at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on comparative Indigenous politics and law, Indigenous feminist theory, Arctic governance and settler colonialism. She is a Fulbright Arctic Initiative Fellow for 2021-2022.
Professor Kuokkanen’s most recent book Restructuring Relations: Indigenous Self-Determination, Governance and Gender by Oxford University Press (2019) has been awarded with three prizes (the International Studies Association’s Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section Best Book Award 2020, the British International Studies Association’s Susan Strange Best Book Prize and the Canadian Political Science Association Prize in Comparative Politics in 2020). It has also been selected as the semi-finalist for the US-based Grawemeyer 2021 Award for Ideas Improving World Order. Drawing on extensive interviews and political theory, the book is an Indigenous feminist investigation of the concept of Indigenous self-determination, governance and gender regimes in Indigenous political institutions.
Her other books include Reshaping the University: Responsibility, Indigenous Epistemes and the Logic of the Gift (UBC Press, 2007) and Boaris dego eana: Eamiálbmogiid diehtu, filosofiijat ja dutkan (in the Sámi language, translated title: As Old as the Earth. Indigenous Knowledge, Philosophies and Research, 2009). She was the founding chair of the Sámi Youth Organization in Finland and has served as the Vice-President of the Sámi Council. She has also long worked and advocated for the protection of Sámi sacred sites, particularly Suttesája, a sacred Sámi spring in Northern Finland. Professor Kuokkanen was recently appointed as the Chair of the Arctic Program Committee of NordForsk. She is from Ohcejohka/Utsjoki, Sápmi (Finland).
Currently she leads the Siida School project, a community driven renewal of Sámi Siida system, funded by the Kone Foundation. The collaborative project by Sámi scholars, artists and activists seeks to reconstruct and simulate how and which Siida practices could operate as part of Sámi governance structures today.