This week the ECMI held the last lecture of this semester at the Europa-Universitat Flensburg and the last public lecture at the Kompagnietor. The public lecture was delivered by a guest speaker from the Arctic University in Tromsø, Dr. Jukka Nyyssönen.
Throughout the semester the students were introduced to various issues within the wider topic of the Minority Protection Regime in Europe. Spanning everything from the history of minority rights to exploring basic principles of international law in relation to minority protection, as well as politics and theories, the students were familiarized with specific issues such as nationalism, conflict, empowerment, Europeanization, education, the role of media, and right-wing populism. The last lecture of the seminar focused on the impact of environmental degradation on minority rights. Along with the lectures within the semester’s curricula, ECMI also organized public lectures which were open not only to the students, but other faculty members at the University and wider audiences in Flensburg. Throughout this semester there were four such lectures organized, on self-determination and the case of Kosovo, intersectionality, Roma policies in Europe and finally on Indigenous people’s rights, focusing on the Sami in Nordic states.
The policies towards the Sámi in Nordic countries: Last ECMI Public Lecture of 2017
In the lecture, a comparative analysis of the minority policies towards the Sámi peoples were given. Building on the film «Firekeepers» as a starting-point, the lecture discussed perceptions of the Sámi and the practical policies that resulted from different racial categorizations with which the Sámi have been labeled. The resulting modernization projects in the Sámi domiciles, their premises, and environmental consequences were also discussed. Lastly, an overview of coping mechanisms was given, along with the ways experiences have been turned into ethnopolitical tools in the struggle for Sámi rights.
About the Guest Speaker:
Jukka Nyyssönen works as a researcher at the Department of Cultural Sciences at Tromsø University museum as well as at the Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies and Theology, both at the University of Tromsø – the Arctic University of Norway (UiT). After graduating from and defense of a Licentiate thesis on the environmental history of northern Lapland at the University of Jyväskylä in 2000, he defended a doctoral thesis in 2007 on Sámi identity politics in Finland at the UiT. His research interests include Sámi politics in Finland, Sámi research, historiography and history of education. Nyyssönen has taught Sámi history at the UiT, University of Oulu and at the Sámi University of Applied Sciences, Kautokeino, Norway. Currently, he leads a research project Societal Dimensions of Sámi research at the Tromsø University Museum.