How does a culture exist for thousands of years while simultaneously conserving the environment? Lola Akinmade Åkerström heads to northern Sweden to find out.

“You need warmer clothes,” Nils tells me at our very first meeting.

I’ve just landed roughly 150 kilometers inside the Arctic Circle during the darkest time of winter. My destination is the small village of Jukkasjärvi, roughly 20 kilometers east of Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost town.

Nils Torbjörn Nutti is one of over 100,000 indigenous Sámi (over a quarter of which live in Sweden) who live in northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola peninsula of Russia in a region collectively known as Sápmi.