How to secure indigenous capacity building in new industries?

Lead Author Vigdis, Nygaard
Institution Contact Northern Research Institute –NORUT, Norway PB. 1463, 9506 Alta
Co-Authors Elisabeth Angell, UNI Research, Bergen, Norway Per Selle, University of Bergen, Norway
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.2 Resource development and building capacity in Arctic communities
Datetime Thu, Sep 15, 2016 01:00 PM - 01:15 PM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text Northern Norway is rich on natural resources like minerals, windpower, petroleum and fish. Resource extraction can improve the capacity and wellbeing of the population, particularly in the peripheral areas where industrial development is low and the lack of jobs cause migration. Land based resource extraction in Northern Norway, and particularly in the region of Finnmark takes place in the core area of the indigenous Sami people, using the land for reindeer herding and harvesting. This paper looks into processes of new industrial development affecting different Sami interests and livelihoods. Drawing on data collected from the research project “Sami interests in new industrial development”, this paper focuses on how stakeholders with different attitudes on industrial development in the Sami areas may influence the policymaking processes.
The bargaining power of the Sami people in Norway has increased as new laws and agreements has improved the possibility to influence and affect the industrial processes in the core Sami areas. The Sami parliament shall of course protect Sami interest, but it is far from always clear what the Sami interests are in different areas and to what extent they are common to most Samis. This puts the Sami parliament and specific Sami interest groups in a challenging position between the Sami people, the State and new industrial actors. The Sami parliament and different interest groups are increasingly in direct contact with new global industrial actors, and have even signed cooperation agreements in cases in which the legal framework for an important industry like the mining industry is disputed. The position of the Sami parliament opens up new opportunities to form new forms of cooperation and governance structures to discuss and influence upon the future sustainability of local Sami communities in pressure between traditions and modern industries.
In this paper we analyze how new forms of governance and cooperation can enhance or restrain capacity building among the Sami indigenous people. We are particularly interested in how the political processes involving the Sami parliament on resource extraction through mining and wind power in local communities affects the possibility for future Sami generations to live in and find work in local communities.
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