In spring 2014, Anna-Kaisa Salmi, Tiina Äikäs and I held a session at the XIV Nordic TAG about “Sámi archaeology and postcolonial theory”. Following the session we were very happy to be allowed to guest edit a special issue of Arctic Anthropology with contributions related to the presentations and discussions in the session. The special issue is now available online from the Arctic Anthropology website. Our introduction to the issue is available here and on academia.edu.
The articles in the issue discuss a range of approaches related to postcolonial theory in Sami archaeology, as well as more specific aspects of colonial encounters in northern Fennoscandia:
Jonas Nordin and Carl-Gösta Ojala emphasise the importance of understanding the long historical roots of the colonialist activity in northern Sweden in order to tackle current controversies about mining enterprises in Sámi areas.
Veli-Pekka Lehtola discusses the subtle implementation of colonial pressure on Sámi culture, language and land use in Finland.
Bryan C. Hood outlines an eclectic theoretical framework for studying the details of how the Early Modern colonial encounter played out between the Sámi and other parties in the north.
Ingela Bergman and Greger Hörnberg demonstrate how the stereotyping of the Sámi has made researchers ignore early evidence of cereal cultivation in Sámi contexts.
David Loeffler presents historical, ethnographic, etymological and archaeological data that may indicate a Sámi presence in the woodlands of the southern parts of the county of Västernorrland in the Middle Ages.
Our session discussant Anna Källén sums up her encounter with Sami archaeology and discuss the contributions in the issue in a wider context of postcolonial theory and critique.
Many thanks to the contributors and the chief editors of Arctic Anthropology for making this issue possible! It is great to see that what I, at least, found an inspirational session has resulted in such intersting and thought-provoking contributions to debates concerning Sami archaeology and postcolonial theory. Hopefully many fruitful discussions will follow.