The Need to Conduct Studies of Swedish Saami Reindeer-Herding Subsistence Behaviours: A Case of Indigenous Resource-Use Rights


  • Robert P. Wheelersburg


Although much is known about Swedish Saami reindeer herding, one area that has received little attention is traditional subsistence activities that support modern herding families and provide a means of cultural survival. This article examines the current political situation in Sweden related to efforts to comply with the European Community’s International Labour Organization Convention No. 169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. The need for studying traditional subsistence practised by the Swedish Saami herders is summarized, and the importance of subsistence research among Inuit groups in Alaska provides a comparative framework for the types of information that can be obtained from such research. Subsistence studies are examined in light of current research priorities of the Circumpolar North scientific community.

Author Biography

Robert P. Wheelersburg

Robert P. Wheelersburg is College Professor of International Studies and associate professor of anthropology at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.






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