The Finnmark Estate: Dilution of Rights or a Vigorous Compromise?
AbstractThis paper describes the new land management arrangement established
in Finnmark County—the northernmost county of Norway. The arrangement is a
response to a long-standing land claim made by the Indigenous Sámis of Norway.
However, in comparison with settled land claims (e.g., in Canada), it departs, on
one central dimension, from the typical conception of how land and resources in
Indigenous areas should be governed. On the operational level, the management
is ethnically blind, which implies a management that provides Sámi and non-Sámi
users of land and resources the same entitlements and services. Thus, some have
argued that, in the case of Norway, Indigenous rights are absent or, at best, diluted.
Still, based on a framework for understanding forms of Sámi self-determination in
Norway as relational, this paper shows how Indigenous rights are embedded in the
new arrangement called the Finnmark Estate (FeFo). The paper is part of a special
collection of brief discussion papers presented at the 2014 Walleye Seminar, held
in Northern Saskatchewan, which explored consultation and engagement with
northern communities and stakeholders in resource development.
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