Sustainable Dispossession: Sámi Environmentalisms in Stories of Colonial Encounter

Tim Frandy (University of British Columbia)

Since its rise into the popular vernacular in the 1970s, “sustainability” has been largely inextricable from Western values, environmental histories, economic ambitions, social hierarchies, and cultural logics—much to the detriment of Indigenous communities who have maintained their own distinct systems of sustainable and relational lifeways for millennia. This presentation explores Sámi and settler cultural logics, worldviews, and relationalities in conflict, as reflected in stories collected at the turn of the 20th century. These stories of environmental, religious, and economic discord shed light on the historical uprooting of Sámi sustainabilities—a colonial process that continues to manifest today.

Part of 02-11 Replanting Roots: Sustaining and Reviving Indigenous Knowledges and Practices, Thursday, November 02, 10:30 am–12:30 pm