Paths, forest roads and roads as different ways of perceiving the landscape and exploiting resources: the Sámi case in Finnish Upper Lapland
Nuccio Mazzullo (University of Lapland)
Paper short abstract:
In the presentation I will describes how paths,forest roads and roads afford different possibilities to access resources and are fundamental for the perceptions of the landscape.Official maps are important tools to describe them.Only those authorized to make maps though can influence these processes
Paper long abstract:
Sustainable development is very important topic particularly nowadays when industries and national states around the world are competing to get access to the Arctic and its resources. Finnish Upper Lapland region is currently at the centre of new development plans, along with existing forestry and reindeer herding, that include mining, new tourist destinations and even a new railway line connect Rovaniemi to the Arctic Ocean. Drawing on long-term fieldwork conducted at different times in the past 25 years I shall highlight how the perception to landscape and resources has been changing from one based on paths, to forest roads and then to asphalt roads. By focusing on ethnographic evidence from the Sámi reindeer herding communities in the Finnish Upper Lapland region, I shall show how these changes are influencing local communities and their livelihood. I shall also show how local people resistance to these changes has helped to halt, albeit temporarily, some of these plans, as in the case of commercial forestry in the area around the village of Nellim. In this particular case, the reindeer herders were able to stake claims by using the language of modern cartography, which is not without pitfalls, in the safeguarding of Sámi indigenous livelihoods.
Lines on the land: mobility and stasis in northern extractive landscapes