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 Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>