Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Casey McNeill, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Caley Johnson, Ph.D.


Despite the Nordic countries’ commitment to robust international Indigenous rights agreements, Europe’s only recognized Indigenous people, the Saami, struggle against the dispossession of their traditional lands in the northern regions of Sweden and Norway. As many states seek to capitalize on the development opportunities presented by the circumpolar Arctic while also recognizing the rights of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination are widely discussed and relevant issues. How effectively do national laws and international Indigenous rights commitments protect the Saami from these potentially invasive natural resource developments on their traditional lands? In this thesis, I aim to answer this question by examining the outcomes of two land disputes between the Saami People and the state: the Stekenjokk case in Sweden and the Fosen Vind Project case in Norway. I argue that, in these cases, the laws and commitments adopted by Sweden and Norway are ultimately insufficient in safeguarding the self-determination of the Saami. The outcome of the two cases indicates possible vulnerabilities in the implementation of the international Indigenous rights regime in Europe that could threaten the future well-being of the Saami People.

Included in

European Law Commons