Indigenous Citizenship and Education (ICE)

How does the education system treat indigenous peoples and indigenous issues?

In Norway/Sápmi, as in other countries with indigenous peoples, knowledge about indigenous matters is an integral part of citizenship.

The aim of the educational system within schools in Norway is to develop the knowledge and attitudes necessary, for citizens of Norwegian and Sámi communities, to be part of a diverse society.

Scholars in New Zealand, Australia and Sweden are also participating in the project, by highlighting case studies relevant to their own societies.

The project has three parts.

  1. Part One consists of political and philosophical analyses of concepts like ‘citizenship’ and ‘indigenous people’, connected to education and rights; and normative theories on the conditions of justice and equal rights. This relies on the basis of legal frameworks and international conventions.
  2. In Part Two, we investigate how citizenship education happens in practice. Curricula and textbooks provide, more or less, the official standpoint regarding indigenous people, and what citizens should learn. On a local level, in municipalities and in particular schools, laws and conventions encounter local customs and conditions, teachers and school leaders, and students and their families. It is these encounters that intrigue us. Here, education ideally forms citizenship. Topics like history, language, identity and rights are included in this.
  3. In Part Three, we are concerned with how the knowledge surrounding indigenous issues is created. The history of research on indigenous issues is far from positive. We provide reflections on how research in this field should be conducted, in accordance with ethical guidelines within indigenous research.

We work in different ways. The data consists in part of texts from law, conventions, curricula and textbooks. We will also do fieldwork, and include conversations and observations of different educational encounters. An important aim for us here is that the people the research involves should take part in defining the goals and direction of the research.

Communication will be conveyed through books and articles, webpages, social media and public meetings.