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Kautokeino, Norway

Sámi University College is a university college that is located in the village of Kautokeino in Kautokeino Municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. It was established in 1989 and has about 150 students and 52 faculty, technical and administrative staff. It is one of 25 Norwegian state university colleges. The college has a national responsibility for Sámi higher education, including education within teaching and journalism. The college attempts to develop its syllabi on the basis of Sámi needs, and attempts to develop Sámi as an academic language. The college has students from all four countries covered by Sápmi. Wikipedia.

Riseth J.A.,Sami University College | Tommervik H.,Norwegian Institute for Nature Research | Helander-Renvall E.,University of Lapland | Labba N.,Moskavuona Sami Language and Culture Center | And 9 more authors.
Polar Record

Scientific studies of challenges of climate change could be improved by including other sources of knowledge, such as traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), in this case relating to the Sámi. This study focuses on local variations in snow and ice conditions, effects of the first durable snow, and long term changes in snow and ice conditions as pre-requisites for understanding potential future changes. Firstly, we characterised snow types and profiles based on Sámi categories and measured their density and hardness. Regression analysis showed that density can explain much of the variation in hardness, while snow depth was not significantly correlated with hardness. Secondly, we found that whether it is dry/cold or warm/wet around the fall of the first durable snow is, according to Sámi reindeer herders, crucial information for forecasting winter grazing conditions, but this has had limited focus within science. Thirdly, elderly herders' observations of changes in snow and ice conditions by 'reading nature' can aid reinterpretation of meteorological data by introducing researchers to alternative perspectives. In conclusion we found remarkable agreement between scientific measurements and Sámi terminology. We also learnt that TEK/science cooperation has much potential for climate change studies, though time and resources are needed to bridge the gap between knowledge systems. In particular, TEK attention to shifts in nature can be a useful guide for science. © Copyright 2010 Cambridge University Press. Source

Johnsen K.I.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Benjaminsen T.A.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Eira I.M.G.,Sami University College | Eira I.M.G.,International Center for Reindeer Husbandry
Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift

The article examines key actors' perceptions on why Norwegian policy objectives aimed at securing sustainable reindeer husbandry through participation have failed in West Finnmark. Based on government documents, media debates, and interviews with the actors, the authors identify two competing narratives on why there are ‘too many reindeer’ despite continued state efforts at destocking. The dominant narrative claims that participation is unsuccessful because herders do not accept expert advice, but increase their herds for personal gain. The Sámi pastoralists' counter-narrative claims that lack of transparency hinders participation and policy implementation. Inspired by political ecology and perspectives on governance within development studies, the authors examine why the government's narrative dominates public debates, while the counter-narrative remains marginalized. They find that the dominant narrative frames destocking as an apolitical and objective measure based on unequivocal scientific advice, while the pastoralists’ rejection of such advice is presented as ignorant and irrational. The dominant narrative's authority is further increased by numerous press reports (repeated in social media) of overstocking threatening biodiversity and economic development. The authors conclude that due to the persistence of the dominant narrative, it has become an undisputed truth in Norwegian debates that Sámi pastoralists are overstocking to maximize their benefits. © 2015 Norwegian Geographical Society. Source

Pettersen T.,SAMI Health | Pettersen T.,Sami University College | Brustad M.,SAMI Health
International Journal of Circumpolar Health

Background. In a situation where national censuses do not record information on ethnicity, studies of the indigenous Sámi people's health and living conditions tend to use varying Sámi inclusion criteria and categorizations. Consequently, the basis on which Sámi study participants are included and categorized when Sámi health and living conditions are explored and compared differs. This may influence the results and conclusions drawn. Objective. To explore some numerical consequences of applying principles derived from Norway's Sámi Act as a foundation for formalized inclusion criteria in population-based Sámi studies in Norway. Design. We established 1 geographically based (G1) and 3 individual-based Sámi example populations (I1-I3) by applying diverse Sámi inclusion criteria to data from 17 rural municipalities in Norway north of the Arctic Circle. The data were collected for a population-based study of health and living conditions in 2003-2004 (the SAMINOR study). Our sample consisted of 14,797 participants aged 36-79 years. Results. The size of the individual-based populations varied significantly. I1 (linguistic connection Sámi) made up 35.5% of the sample, I2 (self-identified Sámi) made up 21.0% and I3 (active language Sámi) 17.7%. They were also noticeably unevenly distributed between the 5 Sámi regions defined for this study. The differences for the other characteristics studied were more ambiguous. For the population G1 (residents in the Sámi language area) the only significant difference found between the Sámi and the corresponding non-Sámi population was for household income (OR=0.69, 95% CI: 0.63-0.74). For the populations I1-I3 there were significant differences on all measures except for I2 and education (OR=1.09, 95% CI: 0.99-1.21). Conclusions. The choice of Sámi inclusion criterion had a clear impact on the size and geographical distribution of the defined populations but lesser influence on the selected characteristics for the Sámi populations relative to the respective non-Sámi ones. © 2013 Torunn Pettersen and Magritt Brustad. Source

Ulturgasheva O.,University of Manchester | Rasmus S.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | Wexler L.,University of Manchester | Nystad K.,Sami University College | Kral M.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Transcultural Psychiatry

Arctic peoples today find themselves on the front line of rapid environmental change brought about by globalizing forces, shifting climates, and destabilizing physical conditions. The weather is not the only thing undergoing rapid change here. Social climates are intrinsically connected to physical climates, and changes within each have profound effects on the daily life, health, and well-being of circumpolar indigenous peoples. This paper describes a collaborative effort between university researchers and community members from five indigenous communities in the circumpolar north aimed at comparing the experiences of indigenous Arctic youth in order to come up with a shared model of indigenous youth resilience. The discussion introduces a sliding scale model that emerged from the comparative data analysis. It illustrates how a "sliding scale" of resilience captures the inherent dynamism of youth strategies for "doing well" and what forces represent positive and negative influences that slide towards either personal and communal resilience or vulnerability. The model of the sliding scale is designed to reflect the contingency and interdependence of resilience and vulnerability and their fluctuations between lowest and highest points based on timing, local situation, larger context, and meaning. © 2014 The Author(s). Source

Degteva A.,Sami University College | Degteva A.,rctic Institute at International Center for Reindeer Husbandry | Nellemann C.,United Nations Environment Programme GRID Arendal

Worldwide, traditional pastoralists are facing challenges of industrial development and competitive land use interfering with their nomadic lives. The Yamal peninsula in western Siberia, a homeland of nomadic Nenets reindeer herders, has been subjected to the Bovanenkovo gas field industrial development since the 1980s. We quantitatively assess how industrial development impacts Nenets migration routes and camp sites and discuss implications for their quality of life. In cooperation with herders, we mapped 21 migration routes and followed two reindeer herder brigades for 15 weeks in July 2008 to August 2009, providing insight into both the social and physical challenges facing Nenets herders. Terrain ruggedness, willow cover, migration routes and camp (chum) sites were recorded on 2 × 2 km grid cells on topographic maps. Rugged terrain with willows (31% of the study area), which is land particularly suitable and valuable for reindeer husbandry, contained nearly 61% of all migration routes. All clusters (>8 km2) of rugged terrain were used for grazing, migration and camp sites, reflecting few alternative land opportunities. Many 1- to 3-km narrow passages of such terrain created natural ‘bottlenecks’ for Nenets migrations in the Yamal landscape. These bottlenecks, used by three to six different reindeer brigades, are crucial for the herders, while competition for land with industrial developers within these areas is particularly high. The physical footprint of Bovanenkovo installations is small, but for the three herding units migrating through these bottlenecks, the industrial development resulted in blockage of two out of four possible routes, loss of major grazing areas and subsequent loss of access to at least 18 traditional camp sites and one sacred site along their traditional route. The combined actions of physical and social impacts from industrial development have reduced migration opportunities and the quality and access to natural resources in the herding cycle. This has thus affected the lives and well-being of indigenous herders in Yamal. © 2013, Degteva and Nellemann; licensee Springer. Source

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