Domestication of Indigenous Discourses? Processes of Constructing Political Subjects in Sápmi is a joint project of two Northern universities, University of Oulu and University of Lapland. It is funded by the Academy of Finland in 2015-2018.
We will benefit the concept of domestication launched by Alasuutari & Qadir (2014), referring to taming and adopting global trends to the national and local contexts. To compensate the lack of power in local and national levels, Sámi politicians have always invoked international norms, such as the discourses of indigenous peoples to support their claims. World-wide models are seldom just “copied”, but rather instituted at the own will and desire of indigenous and national leaders and decision makers. Our project grasps the concrete activities and possible frictions and tensions in constructing the Sámi political subjects.
Our project grasps the concrete activities and possible frictions and tensions in constructing the Sámi political subjects. Many crucial layers of modern Sámi society are represented in our project from recent ethno-political history and the role of women in Sámi policies to Sámi participation in many levels of local, national and international politics. Sámi reindeer herding and repatriation processes are introduced as examples of controversies between Sámi and Finnish institutions.
The research project, which is a part of the Arctic program of the Academy of Finland in 2015-2018, is led by the professor of Sámi culture at the University of Oulu, Veli-Pekka Lehtola. The research team comprises of seven researchers, three at the University of Lapland, and four at the University of Oulu.
The research project collaborates with several international and national experts, institutions, research groups and networks:
Universities of Umeå and Tromsø provide interesting parallels for our project, especially the Centre for Sami Research (CeSam) – Vaartoe in Umeå, (Professor Patrik Lantto, head), the Center for samiske studier at the University of Tromsø (Else Grete Broderstad, head) and Tromsø Museum, University of Tromsø (førsteamanuensis Jukka Nyyssönen). Other experts are Professor Tim Ingold (University of Aberdeen, UK), Professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen (University of Oslo, Norway), and Professor Nira Yuval-Davis (University of East London, UK).
The most important research projects and groups of collaboration are On "Glocal" governance:
On the meanings and consequences of the "vernacularization" of Human Rights Concepts (Academy research fellow Reetta Toivanen, University of Helsinki);
Northern Colonialism: Historical Connections, Contemporary Lives (led by Tim Ingold, University of Aberdeen); Guardian of the Lapps (led by Patrik Lantto, University of Umeå);
Indigenous Women and Self-Determination (Associate Professor Rauna Kuokkanen, University of Toronto),
Study on the participation of indigenous peoples in the public and political life with a focus on their right to maintain their cultural heritage, including sports and traditional games (Alexey Tsykarev, Vice Chair of the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights),
Spaces and possibilities of culturally sensitive welfare services: Knowledge production and value creation with the Sámi people (Merja Laitinen, University of Lapland)
We also cooperate with the project Att samla Sápmi: Tidigmodern globalisering av samisk materiell kultur och det samiska kulturarvet idag finansieras, funded by the Swedish Research Council in 2014–2017 and led by Jonas Nordin and Carl-Gösta Ojala from the University of Uppsala.