Att bearkadidh : Om samiskt självbestämmande och samisk självkonstituering

Sammanfattning: This thesis seeks to develop new ways to understand Sámi self-determination and self-constitution by analyzing Sámi understandings of these concepts and how such understandings, theoretically and politically, can challenge existing notions of what Sámi self-determination is, or can be in the future.According to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), indigenous peoples have the right to determine their own identity or membership in accordance with their own collective customs and traditions. They also have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures. The seemingly simple and obvious wordings in the UNDRIP, on the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination through their own procedures and their own political decision-making institutions give the impression that indigenous self-determination is something concretely formulable and directly implementable. In reality, UNDRIP presents a political dilemma regarding; 1. the extent to which it is possible for indigenous peoples to be able to formulate their own definitions of membership and the meaning of their own self-determination, free from the norms of the majority society; and 2. the extent to which it is possible to set up one's own procedures and institutions within the limits of what the nation state and liberal democracy allow.The study analyses the ideas the Sámi in Sweden have expressed about what Sámi self-determination is, how it can be implemented, i.e. what organisational solutions are proposed and what constitutes the group of Sámi that will exercise this self-determination. In addition to theory regarding indigenous peoples' legal and political right to self-determination, the thesis uses Sámi concepts (laahkoe, maadtoe, bearkadidh, dajve, maahtoe, vuekie) as an analytical framework to contrast existing legal/political theory and to capture Sámi norms and relational values connected to people, landscape, natural resources, knowledge and local autonomy. The thesis show that Swedish national legislation has moved Sámi society away from a relational and responsibility-based understanding of who is Sámi toward a rights-based understanding which causes a conflict between collective vs individual rights, a conflict that later becomes institutionalised in the political elected Saemiedigkie/Sámi Parliament. This rights-based conflict makes it almost impossible for the early Sámi organisations and later the Saemiedigkie, to express what self-determination actually is, how the internal Sámi autonomy should be organised and how the relationship between the Sámi people and the Swedish state should develop. By methodologically using Sámi concepts, the thesis shows that it is possible to formulate new theoretical knowledge and new ways to analyse Sámi society. Indigenous peoples' own legal perceptions and norm systems challenge in many ways existing theory and models of democracy. It is extremely difficult to define and institutionalise self-determination on the basis of one's own standards when at the same time one is without what is a prerequisite for being able to bearkadidh – access to and influence over a territory.

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