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Accepted Paper:

Contested Sámi histories in Finland  

Author:

Veli-Pekka Lehtola (University of Oulu)

Paper short abstract:

In Indigenous studies, the concept of contested histories was originally used to describe how the history-writing of the majority is challenged by Indigenous Peoples’ own, originally oral, histories. This notion has received entirely new meanings especially in the 2000s in Finland.

Paper long abstract:

In Indigenous studies, the concept of contested histories was originally used to describe how the history-writing of the majority, which is considered to rationalise the colonial control over indigenous lands, is challenged by Indigenous Peoples’ own, originally oral, histories. This notion has received entirely new meanings especially in the 2000s, as different Sámi and Finnish groups have emerged to challenge the established views of the Sámi themselves. The article analyses a continuum of interpretations on Lapland and Sámi history. In addition to the Lappologist, “Northern Finnish” and Sámi conceptions of history, also histories generated by Lapland’s Finns have had a significant role in this development. The same goes for oral tradition, Sámi political reality, indigenous peoples’ movements and developments within the discipline of history. The contemporary political situation in Sápmi has resulted in contested histories not only among individual researchers, but between institutions in Finland, as well, when the Ministry of Justice and the Sámi parliament have produced their own historical interpretations.

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