NORSIL Workshop on the Rights of the Sámi People and Sustainable Development


NORSIL Workshop on the Rights of the Sámi People and Sustainable Development:

Leaving No One Behind in the Nordic Transition?

27-28 May 2019 – Umeå University

The Nordic Network for Sámi and Indigenous Peoples Law (NORSIL) hosted by Umeå University, Sweden calls for abstract and participation in its First Workshop on “Transitioning towards a sustainable Nordic Society: Assessing and monitoring the implementation of the rights of the Indigenous Sámi people as a means to achieve inclusive and sustainable development”.

This event is the first of a NOH-HS workshop series to examine what societal and legal changes must occur over the next generation to ensure the implementation of the rights of the Sámi people in order to achieve an inclusive transition to sustainability in the Nordic countries.

In 2015, the Nordic countries announced support as a whole for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed under UN auspices. The goals aim to eradicate extreme poverty and to achieve sustainable development in all fields while leaving no one behind. Yet, numerous problems are still limiting the inclusion of the Sami people in the sustainable transition of the countries of Finland, Norway and Sweden. Despite the recognition of their rights at the national and international levels, there are still important concerns regarding the implementation of their rights on the ground. While adopting a human rights based-approach to sustainable development, this workshop series provides a platform to assess and measure the progress and challenges towards the implementation of the rights of the Sami people in order to promote a sustainable and inclusive transition in the Nordic countries

For its first workshop organised in Umeå on 27-28 May 2019, the NORSIL network welcomes abstracts submissions relating to the progress and obstacles encountered in the Nordic countries to ensure the rights of the Sámi people in the context of sustainable development:

Abstracts must relate to the study of the rights of indigenous peoples, more specifically the Sámi people and sustainable development (broadly defined).

Interested academics and practitioners, senior and junior as well as Sámi representatives and individuals are invited to submit abstracts addressing the following suggested topics:

  • What does sustainability means for the Sámi people and indigenous peoples more generally?
  • What are the law and policies in place to promote and guarantee the sustainable livelihoods of the Sámi people in the Nordic countries and more generally of indigenous peoples at the international level?
  • What is the current perception of such policy and law and their impacts at the local level?
  • What steps must be taken to ensure Sámi sustainability at the legal and policy level? In the field of education and languages? To promote the development of the Sámi livelihoods and the protection of their lands and resources? To ensure children and women equality? Etc.…
  • What does the Sustainable Development Goals means in the Nordic Countries for the Sámi people?
  • How is the relation between Sámi sustainability and sustainable development interpreted?

The deadline for abstract submission is April 1, 2019 
via  E-mail: In the e-mail subject please put “Abstract”.
The application should include:

  • title of the paper,
  • name of the participant
  • academic title
  • organization/place of work
  • contact e-mail
  • the mention whether it is a prospective paper or not for junior researcher
  • Abstract (300-words)

Participants will be registered without fee. However, the workshop can only host a limited number of participants. Therefore, participants will be shortlisted following their invitation and/or the submission of their abstracts. For junior researchers, the selection committee will also take into account whether the applicant has planned to submit a full paper to be published after the conference.

Financial support: support for accommodation and travel expenses are only available for short-listed applicants and invited speakers. Selected participants will receive travel funding to cover their return (economy) airfare and accommodation in Umeå for the duration of the workshop in the limit of our budget. Hotels rooms will be pre-booked. We warmly encourage all participants to use more eco-friendlier alternative to travel to Umeå, when possible. Budget restriction do not allow us to pay per-diem.

Applicants whose abstracts have been selected will be notified by April 15.

Following the conference, it is expected to publish an electronic peer-reviewed collection of papers upon the selection of the articles made by the organizing committee. Criteria for the article format will be defined in a second information letter. The publication of papers is however not mandatory.

The first workshop is kindly hosted by Umeå University. It is located 7 hours from Stockholm by train. The city is situated on the traditional lands of the Sámi people. Lunch and refreshments will be served during the workshop, and a networking programme will soon be circulated. The workshop series is funded by the Joint Committee for Nordic research councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS).

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the workshop or call for abstracts via email: