Kaisa Rautio Helander is Professor of sámi onomastics at Sámi allaskuvla | Sámi University of Applied Sciences in Guovdageaidnu, Norway. She holds a PhD in Sámi language from the University of Oulu in Finland. Her doctoral thesis is a multi-disciplinary study of the history of official place name policy in Norway with regard to Indigenous toponymy. The thesis is written in the North Sámi language with the original name: Namat dan nammii. Sámi báikenamaid dáruiduhttin Várjjaga guovllus Norgga uniovdnaáiggi loahpas (In the Name of Names. The Norwegianisation of Sámi place names in the Várjjat area at the end of the period of Norway’s union with Sweden.)
Among her current onomastic research interests are theoretical and methodological questions concerning Sámi toponymy, challenges of recognition and restoration of indigenous toponymy in official naming contexts, colonial naming practices, contact-onomastics and linguistic and onomastic landscapes in indigenous areas. For her publications, see e.g. Cristin.
Helander has edited the first Sámi Scientific Journal, Sámi dieđalaš áigečála (1994) with the special theme of Sámi place name studies in Norway, Sweden and Finland. Helander was also a co-organizer of the first Trends in Toponymy -conference in 2006 in Kárášjohka, Norway. She was the main organizer of the first International Conference on Indigenous Place Names (ICIPN) which was held in 2010 at the Sámi University of Applied Sciences, in Guovdageaidnu, Norway.