This research has a long history. I participated in the seminar of ethnohistory at the University of Helsinki in 1993. There I became for the first time interested in indigenous peoples. I continued with this theme when studying different branches of history, and becoming acquented with the questions of legal cultures and legal pluralism has opened up for me new perspectives on the Indigenous presence in various countries. For me, the collecting of material and the writing of the dissertation have been a rich expedition. I have done most of the research alongside my work, but for the last 1.5 years it has been possible to concentrate full-time on the research. For this I owe the Legal Cultures in Transnational World programme whose Finnish board I want to thank for the opportunity. No less important has been the positive attitude of my co-workers, especially Rev. Anne Angervo, Vaara-Karjala Parish Council and the Chapter of Kuopio Diocese, who have supported my studying in all its phases.