Call for papers

Sámi Customary Rights in Modern Landscapes Indigenous People and Nature Conservation


The conference Sámi Customary Rights in Modern Landscapes Indigenous People and Nature Conservation will be held in Luleå, Sweden, 28-29 August 2013, with an optional excursion and workshop in Jokkmokk on the 30th of August. The conference aims to explore how culturally defined values, ideologies and policies have formed, and continue to form, the basis of Indigenous rights and management models of nature conservation areas in Sápmi. Comparisons with, or cases of, the situations of other Indigenous Peoples are welcome. The conference seeks to bring together different disciplines such as history, political science, law, cultural geography, sociology and anthropology.The purpose is to combine different scientific disciplines such a history, political sciences and law. Some specific issues include:

  • How the cultural imagination of nature and landscape among different Indigenous groups has influenced the establishment of nature conservation areas and the design of governance models for natural resources.
  • How the contemporary governance of protected areas has been influenced by the principles of equality and positive discrimination, affecting the possibilities to establish adaptive co-management arrangements of specific areas.
  • How the legal situation of the Sámi and other Indigenous Peoples has been recognised, especially concerning longstanding customary territorial rights.

Keynote speakers

Professor Karl Jacoby, Department of History and Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (CSER), Columbia University, New York, USA.

Associate Professor Michael Adams, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences & Indigenous Studies Unit, University of Wollongong, Australia.

Associate Professor Jacinta Ruru, Faculty of Law, University of Otago Otepoti, Dunedin, New Zeeland.

The conference is part of the research project Indigenous Rights and Nature Conservation in Fennoscandinavia, financed by Formas, Sweden. For information about the research project Indigenous Rights and Nature Conservation in Fennoscandinavia, see our website: .

The conference

All costs in relation to the conference is payed by the participants, and we have unfortunately no grants to apply for.
The conference language will be English. Registration will be during the morning of Wednesday the 28th of August. The conference will begin in the morning on the 28th and continue until Thursday afternoon the 29th of August. The conference will be held in Luleå in northern Sweden. Luleå is the regional centre of the county of Norrbotten, a nice harbor town with a large archipelago for tourism and recreation.

Optional excursion and workshop


Conference attendees are invited to participate in a post-conference excursion to Jokkmokk /Jåhkåmåhkke/ Dálvvadis  including a workshop at the Ajtté Sami museum August 30.  Jokkmokk is a portal to the magnificent Laponian Area, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on the basis of both its outstanding natural values and the living cultural heritage of the Sami people. During our visit, we will study the multiple use of this varied and spectacular landscape from ancient to current times, discussing conflicts and their potential solutions.

To make the most of our visit in Jokkmokk we have added a workshop to the program and invited Professor Karl Jacoby, Columbia University, to put the multiple land use in Sapmi in a comparative perspective, with a particular focus on American native history.

The excursion and the workshop offers a unique opportunity to experience Laponia’s grand surroundings, with its deep forests and breathtaking mountains, as well as a chance for deeper understanding of Sami cultural and environmental practices and the contemporary governance of protected areas on Sami lands.

The excursion/workshop will start at 17.00 the 29th of August from Luleå with one night in Jokkmokk. We return to Luleå (via Kallax airport) the 30th of August at approximately 18.15. Excursion fees of 500 SEK will include transport, accommodation in Jokkmokk, and all meals.

Please note that space is limited so please book your spot early.

Call for abstracts

Abstracts for papers can address either one of the three specific issues outlined above or the complex issue of indigenous rights and nature conservation more generally. Abstracts should be 500 words or less.

Abstracts can be sent to Assoc. prof. Camilla Sandström, University of Umeå.

Phone: +46-90-7866450
Last date for abstracts was 15 May 2013


Presentation of papers

Presenters will be given 20-30 minutes for paper presentations at the conference.


The conference aims to publish a selection of conference papers as a special issue for a high ranked academic journal. Further information will be provided at a later date.


In order to plan for the conference we need your registration. You can register even if you do not have any paper for presentation. The conference fee is 1500 SEK and in addition 25% VAT, including meals and conference dinner.

First date for registration: 1 April 2013
Last date of registration: 5 August 2013

You may register and pay the conference fee on this website. 

More detailed information will be published continuously at this website.

We look forward to seeing you at our exciting conference!

Prof. Lars Elenius


For information concerning practical arrangements, please contact:
Conference manager Meit Levin, Luleå University of Technology.

Phone: +46-920-491622

For information concerning the content of the conference, please contact:
Prof. Lars Elenius, Senior lecturer at Luleå University of Technology.

Phone: +46-70-3131259

Page Editor and Contact: Josefin Rönnbäck

Published: 25 August 2014


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