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 Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

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: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>