The Sami National Day as a Prism to Tromsø Sami Identity: the Past and the Present

Author: Valentina Kharina

The thesis “The Sami National Day as a Prism to Tromsø Sami Identity: the Past and the Present” researches the way Tromsø Sami identity has changed over the last 20 years. The institution of the Sami National Day is used as a shaping tool of the concept of identity. In this work I investigate the way the celebration of Sami Day has changed since the time the holiday was established in 1993 up to nowadays: in the past the celebration had a small-scale, local, character, uniting a limited number of the Sami people and their friends, while today the Sami National Day unites the whole city and is celebrated not only by the Sami – the number of which has significantly increased – but also by foreigners and Norwegians living in the city. On the basis of this analysis I research the way Tromsø Sami identity has developed over the last 20 years: it has become much more visible in society and stronger. Moreover, I investigate the issue of the level of development according to my research model Tromsø Sami identity is today. The research is based on 22 interviews and has primarily qualitative character. Therefore, the results of the research can’t reflect the whole Tromsø Sami community but they show the readers some patterns in it.

Learning Sealing: Traditional Knowledge Strengthening Awareness of Being Greenlandic Today

By Sally Rosendahl

This thesis investigates in which ways learning ‘traditional’ knowledge such as seal hunting is a strengthening factor for the awareness of being Greenlandic today. It looks at knowledge transfer between one generation and the next as well as the role of knowledge transfer in the education system. Finally, the tension or interplay between possessing traditional knowledge and living as a modern people is discussed. Through primarily using qualitative research in the shape of interviews of twelve individuals, this thesis draws on examples from various kinds of education, while accounts from staff at the Children’s Home Uummannaq and from young Greenlanders also provide information on passing of knowledge outside the educational system. The data will be analysed drawing on a range of theories from the cross-disciplinary field of my study, naming Fikret Berkes’ model on traditional ecological knowledge, Thomas La Belle’s theories on informal versus formal education, Gayatri Spivak’s theory on the voices of the subalterns and epistemic violence, and Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, to name a few examples. This thesis presents voices of particular Greenlanders rather than attempting to account for the Greenlandic people as a whole, and through these voices it is shown that learning sealing in a symbolic or a practical way strengthens the awareness of young Greenlanders.

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Living on the Margins of life: A Study about Street Children in Kathmandu, Nepal

By Prakash Pokharel

This thesis entitled ‘Living on the Margins of Life: A Study about Street Children in Kathmandu, Nepal’ is based on the idea that children rights, the most basic of human rights need to be discussed and promoted, since children are the future of the community, nation and the world. Indigenous peoples and their struggle for human rights is now a significant force, as the movement moves in a new era. In such a context, the main interest of this research work is the current situation of indigenous and minority children in capital city of Nepal. This work is mainly focused on the issue of street children in Kathmandu Nepal and the roles of different institutions to promote the issue of indigenous and minority children’s rights in Nepal.

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“The Best of Both Worlds”. Conceptualising an Urban Sámi Identity

By Kajsa Kemi Gjerpe

Indigeneity is often expected to merely exist in rural settings. The urban context is, therefore, considered atypical and inauthentic. I will distinguish between cultural traits and emblems, arguing that the creation of emblems has been an important aspect of revitalisation of Sámi culture. In addition, I maintain that the use of emblems in daily life is important for urban Sámi, as Sámi culture is not very visible in the city environment. However, the use of emblems has had unfavourable consequences. On the one hand, urban Sámi do not belong within the category of ‘ordinary urban citizen’ as they hold cultural traits that are not common in the urban and Norwegian context; nor do they belong within the ‘Sámi’ category as they lack certain expected cultural traits within the rural and Sámi context. Those who fall between the various categories become, arguably, people out of place. Opposing the notion of being of out place, this study seeks to demonstrate how the concept of an urban Sámi identity is created, articulated and challenged in an urban context. I argue that the interviewees belong in both ‘worlds’, and that the city creates a context to various means of cultural expressions.

Thesis at Munin

Forced relocations of the Kola Sámi people: background and consequences

By Anna Afanasyeva

This Master’s thesis describes and analyses the background and consequences of the relocation policies imposed on the Kola Sámi people. The forced relocations of the Kola Sámis in this work are presented in a two-staged process implying that the main policies, leading to gradual spatial rearrangement of the Sámi traditional settlement patterns and its further displacement. Another purpose of this work is to discuss the ways in which the Kola Sámi community was affected by the forced relocations. The decades of relocations represent a turning point in history of the Sámi community as associated with the new society-building patterns, restructuring traditional economies and need for active cultural and language preservation today. The Kola Sámi community faced the loss of their resource territories, disruption of traditional activities’ practice along with strong influences of multicultural environment on language and culture as the impacts of forced relocation policies. The change in geographical distribution of the Sámi settlements has also caused shifts in communities’ social organization and land use patterns. The current work addresses implementation of the Soviet policies of forced relocations on the Kola Sámi people and touches upon the occurred consequences.

Thesis at Munin