''Don’t Wake the Rávga of Repparfjord'': Sámi Storytelling to Discuss Nussir ASA’s Mining Waste Disposal
Over the last few decades, mineral resource extraction has been rapidly growing in the Arctic, often taking place within indigenous territories. One of the most controversial project developments in Northern Fennoscandia is the Nussir copper mine. Since its conception, the project has faced opposition, and different actors have voiced their concerns and actively protested, arguing that the mine will disturb reindeer herding activities and damage the local environment, in particular polluting Repparfjord in which the mining tailings will be deposited. The implications of the project on the marine environment of Repparfjord have given rise to questions as to the project’s compliance with Norway’s international commitments toward environmental law and indigenous peoples’ rights. Accordingly, this master’s thesis follows the course of the ongoing mining developments in Kvalsund and attempts to approach the issue of mineral waste disposal in Repparfjord from an indigenous rights-based, an environmental law and a pluralistic perspective of law and resource management that critically interrogates the existing legal system’s ability to accommodate traditional knowledge systems. For this purpose, aside from doctrinal analysis of legal domains which is widely used in projects relevant to law and resource management, this thesis presents three Coastal Sámi stories as a starting point of research in order to articulate legal discourses related to the case study. As long as this thesis focuses on the marine-related issue of mining waste disposal in Repparfjord, it was considered useful to touch upon the case study through the paradigm of Sámi stories from the region. The selected stories refer to Sámi spirits known as rávga which live in the sea and often interact with fishermen and coastal communities. Each of the three selected stories has been used in a different legal approach and, methodologically, is interpreted in a different way to discuss the case and the fields of law that revolve around it. The thesis concludes with recommendations for further research and policy-making.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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