Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

€ 1.8 million project on indigenous peoples living in the Arctic

04.10.2006
How do indigenous peoples organize their homes and households in the circumpolar Arctic? Centre for Samí Studies at the University of Tromsø has received € 1,8 million to direct an international project that will address this question.

Centre for Samí Studies is an important contributor in strengthening indigenous perspectives in research work established within a wide range of fields at the University of Tromsø in Norway. Samís are the indigenous peoples of northern Scandinavia, Finland and northwestern Russia. The Centre however has also a substantial international perspective.

The European Science Foundation (ESF) is acknowledging this international perspective by making the project “Home, Hearth and Household in the Circumpolar North“ the largest of the seven projects in ESFs BOREAS programme. All projects in the BOREAS programme are within the field of humanities or social studies in an Arctic perspective.

International focus

Thirty scientists from Norway, Sweden, Canada, Finland, USA and Russia will participate in this three-year project. They will draw parallels between past and present settlements by research within fields of history, archeology and anthropology.

The Centre for Samí Studies will also arrange an international seminar for the scientists involved in all of the seven ESF projects. Professor David Anderson coordinates the BOREAS-project at the University of Tromsø.

– The European Science Foundation is acknowledging the significance of understanding what is of importance for indigenous peoples in the circumpolar Arctic, he says.

Extraordinary similarities

Local living conditions of many different indigenous peoples will be examined and compared during this project. The scientists at the University of Tromsø will mainly focus on historical living conditions of the Samí people.

- There are many extraordinary similarities in the way the indigenous peoples of the circumpolar Arctic have organized their homes in the past. One common factor is that many of these peoples took mobility and flexibility into a great consideration when building their homes. They still do, actually, even though they use modern materials. Our question is why did these similarities occur, says archaeology professor Bjørnar Olsen.

Olsen is a participant in the “ BOREAS: Home, Hearth and Household in the Circumpolar North “ project. He stresses the significance of moving away from the stereotypical thinking, when conjuring an image of Samí living.

- The Samí form of living has varied over time and throughout the Samí areas. The people also interacted with other peoples. To be able to fully understand their living conditions, we will have to look back one to two thousand years. In this way we will be able to see the dynamics in the Samí patterns of living, rather than rely on generalisations, says Olsen.

Recovering traditions

The indigenous peoples of the circumpolar Arctic have been exceptionally capable of adapting their culture to hard times and changing conditions. Scientists at the Centre for Samí Studies do not believe that it is a loss of cultural identity that the Samí no longer live in tents. They are however pointing out that many of the handcraft traditions of different indigenous peoples are lost, and may be recovered through this project.

The organization of the rooms in a home is more than a question of practicality, the scholars claim. It also indicates a lot about what is of importance for the people inhabiting the home. For instance: Religious and social conventions played a significant role in the making of an old Samí settlement.

People in High North development

The “Home, Hearth and Household in the Circumpolar North” - project is closely related to the development projects instigated in the High North – the area above 70th parallel - by the current Norwegian government. Issues in terms of energy supply, oil exhumation and the environmental consequences concerning these, are often overshadowing the social implications of such development.

- The High North is more than a source of oil and gas. Research within the field of social studies and humanities is crucial in understanding how the development of the High North will affect the people who live there, says the director of the Centre for Samí Studies Else Grete Broderstad.

The Faculties of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tromsø have already the High North as their primary research area. In this context, however, the BOREAS - project is the largest venture to date.

By Maja Sojtaric
Journalist at University of Tromsø

Else Grete Broderstad | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sami.uit.no/boreas/index.html

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>