Recognising indigenous rights and local Perspectives on Arctic

The aim of this project is to fill a gap in knowledge on questions of local people’s rights and their views on their possibilities to influence local developments in the Arctic. The project draws on current situations and discussions in Greenland, Norway and Finland. It provides comprehensive recording of indigenous and other local people’s views on how their voices are heard in current developments.

The project has a bottom-up approach and it emphasises the possibility to learn from the different ways in which indigenous rights have been recognised in these three Nordic countries and the need to understand how and why the question of local rights has been treated very differently within the Nordic region. A method of deliberative hearings will be developed to record the local communities’ views in three locations: Nuuk (Greenland), Karasjok (Norway) and Inari (Finland). The method is consistent with the idea of deliberative democracy – a key Nordic value. The three countries have been selected because of their Nordic commonalities, yet different responses to the recognition of local rights.

The project’s results will include an overview report containing policy-relevant recommendations and scientific and popular articles. The results can be utilised by Nordic countries in discussing, for example, legal developments, and by local decision-makers, businesses and other stakeholders to improve the possibilities of local and indigenous communities to influence developments that affect them.

The project organised public hearings in Norway, Finland and Greenland to address local and indigenous people’s rights and possibilities to influence current developments in the Arctic, emphasizing knowledge sharing about indigenous rights. Some of the results were published in the book Global Politics and Its Violent Care for Indigeneity in 2018. 

Applicant: University of Lapland, Finland

Countries: Greenland, Norway

Project start 2016, expected to be finalized in 2017.

Copyright pictures: Leiff Josefsen/