15 Working together is essential in whitewater rafting. The project’s extensive partner network enables diverse collaboration on both sides of the border. – I’m proud of the cooperation between the partners in the project. We’re really making the cultural issues known, says Leena. Together with the North Calotte Council, the project carried out a study on mental border barriers experienced in cooperation between Finland and Sweden. The study resulted in a report in both Finnish and Swedish, Mental border barriers, which was published in the spring of 2021. Mental border barriers can be related to physical, geographical, legal, or political barriers. They are always related to previous experiences, are often collective and they are passed on through stories about the past and stereotypical images of “the others”. – When we are trying to resolve border barriers, we also need to take mental border barriers into account. Solving physical barriers alone is not enough, Leena continues. The project group are planning new measures to address these mental border barriers. – Acquiring truth-based information and sharing it with as many people as possible is really important to reduce mental border barriers. One of these barriers is languages and cultural knowledge. We have organised many language cafés to reduce mental barriers to using language, Leena states. Another purpose of the project is to increase knowledge of the language and culture in neighbouring countries, both Finland and Sweden. Oulu University of Applied Sciences has started courses in the Swedish language and in Swedish culture, one at undergraduate level and a further education.