Edited By Heike Niedrig and Christian Ydesen
Jonas Jakobsen: Education, recognition and the Sami people of Norway
Education, recognition and the Sami people of Norway Jonas Jakobsen, University of Tromsø, Norway In this article I present and discuss selected aspects of the case of the Sami peo- ple in Norway, their struggle for influence over their own education institutions, and for equal as well as special rights in the Norwegian education system. Com- pared to many other Indigenous peoples, the case of the Sami in Norway appears to be “a story of success” (Stordahl 2008: 249). For example, the Norwegian Sami have their own education institutions, and they are among the most edu- cated Indigenous peoples in the world (Eiheim 1995; Stordahl 2008). I also use the Sami case to reflect upon the relation between education and the self-identity of cultural minorities, here drawing upon (and discussing) the work of German social philosopher Axel Honneth. 1. The Sami in Norway The word “Sami” is used to identify an Indigenous people living in Northern Europe, in the northwest of Russia and in the northern reaches of Sweden, Finland and Norway. Since the definitions of ethnicity vary, it is difficult to de- termine the exact number of Samis today, but official sources estimate the num- ber to be between 50,000 and 80,000, out of which the largest part, approxi- mately 40,000, are living in Norway, primarily in the northern regions. The In- ternational Labor Organization Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal peo- ples (ILO 1989), which Norway has ratified with 17 other countries worldwide, defines “indigenous...
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