Reindeer herding is a cornerstone of arctic indigenous life across Scandinavia and Eurasia. Photo © Alizé Carrère

Or as I like to call them....Santa's OTHER helpers. 

Forget the polar vortex we've been experiencing on the east coast this winter - such conditions are the norm in Kautokeino, a town above the arctic circle in northern Norway where I found myself this past week. Home to the Samí, an indigenous group known for their semi-nomadic reindeer herding lifestyle, I had the pleasure of joining a conference held at the Samí University College that addressed issues as diverse as the role of indigenous knowledge in climate change mitigation to reindeer castration. It was an all-around fascinating experience, with adorable reindeer baby sightings to boot!

Full story for National Geographic's Explorers Journal here: