CALL FOR PAPERS – Indigenous People and Nature Conservation

Abstract designThe conference Sámi Customary Rights in Modern Landscapes will be held in Luleå, Sweden, 28-29 August 2013, with an optional excursion 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, philosophy, political science, law, cultural geography, sociology and anthropology.

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 recognized, 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.
  • Senior Lecturer 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

The conference

The conference language will be English. Registration will be during the morning of Wednesday the 28th of August. The conference will begin after lunch on the 28th and continue until Friday 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

On Friday the 30th a scientific and cultural excursion will be arranged to parts of Sápmi. We will visit cultural heritage sites of local Sámi people and also travel out into nature to see how reindeer herding and other interests are reconciled in conservation areas. The excursion is optional and will be self-financed by the participants. It is estimated to cost a maximum of 1000 SEK, including transportation and food.

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: 1 April 2013
Our date for confirmation of accepted abstracts: 20 April 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, 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 the website:

More detailed information will be sent out later. For accommodation, restaurants, events, etc. see For your convenience there is also rooms reserved at Elite Hotel.

We look forward to seeing you at our exciting conference!

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