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Ett med naturen: En studie av hur naturen omförhandlades i mellankrigstidens konflikter mellan naturskydd och samiska rättigheter
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences. (Historia)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2011-7006
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
One with Nature : An Inquiry into the Renegotiation of Nature in the Conflicts between Nature Preservation and Sámi Rights during the Interwar Period. (English)
Abstract [en]

In 1909 the Swedish national parks law was adopted with the assumption that the Sámi people living in the areas to be preserved were, in principle, one with nature. Therefore the perception of their land as pristine was consolidated and they could be excepted from park regulations. About thirty years later the national park administration stated that the aim to keep the national park nature untouched would fail without a restriction of Sámi rights within the parks. The aim of this thesis is to investigate how the distinction of nature from culture was renegotiated during the conflicts that preceded and followed this new stance.

Tracing the impulses that fostered the reactions of the state administration back to their original contexts, complex interactions of differing interests are revealed. These contexts are examined in three case studies. The first case centers on nomad school superintendent Erik Bergström and his warning of the effects on the national parks from reindeer herders activities. The intersection of nature preservation and Sámi politics sheds light on their common outset in the use of the nature-culture dichotomy in approaching the Sámi. This contributes to explain the resistance by which the interest of change was met by those invested in the prevailing state policy towards the Sámi.

The second case concerns a conflict of Sámi land use in the Abisko national park by the early 1930s. Several factors that induced state officials to react on Sámi fishing and hunting in the national park are illuminated. These include different understanding of nature preservation, the moral economy among the Sámi and antagonism between Sámi reindeer herders and inhabitants in the railway towns.

The third case involves concerns raised in the process of establishing a new national park in the Muttos/Muddus area. A shift in focus from mountainous to forest landscapes among nature preservationists resulted in the inclusion of new stakeholders and fields of knowledge about land use and its effects. This seems to have spurred problematizing of both the ideal of pristine nature and of Sámi land use. A conflict was triggered by the in-migration of two reindeer herding families.

In conclusion, it will be argued that it was a series of quite contextually different conflicts that interacted to undermine the institutionalized demarcation of nature. This simultaneously challenged Sámi rights in the national parks and took place in ideological opposition to the foundation of segregationist Sámi policy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2017. , 160 p.
Series
Studies in Northern European Histories, 10
Keyword [sv]
Nationalparker, Samepolitik, Naturskydd, Hembygdsvård
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-61097ISBN: 978-91-7583-785-7 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7583-786-4 (pdf)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-61097DiVA: diva2:1056901
Public defence
2017-02-17, Luleå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Nature Preservation and Indigenous Rights
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2016-12-16 Created: 2016-12-15 Last updated: 2016-12-16Bibliographically approved

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