The Doctrine of Discovery and the Sami Peoples

I am hoping to write about how the Scandinavian countries used the international law Doctrine of Discovery to negatively impact the rights of the Sami Peoples. 

My initial research shows evidence of the Doctrine of Discovery being applied against the Sami.

Scandinavian countries also applied the elements of Discovery against the Sami peoples to attempt to limit Sami rights of self-determination and ownership of their traditional lands and property rights. Preliminary research establishes that court cases from Sweden,[14] and Norway,[15] and historical materials show that the governments of Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia have infringed on Sami human rights and land and property rights.[16] The Sami continue to struggle to assert their rights today.[17]


[14] Cf. North Frostviken Sami Village v. State, S.Ct. Decision No. DT 2, Case No. 324/76 (1981) (Supreme Court of Sweden).


[15] Cf. Landowners and right-holders in Manndalen, et al v. The Norwegian State, Serial No. 5B/2001, No. 340/1999 (2001) (Supreme Court of Norway); Sirum et al v. Essand Reindeer Pasturing District, Seiral No. 4B/2001 (2001) (Norway); Riast/Hylling Sami v. Kjell Bendixvold et al, Frostating Lagmannsrett LF-1995-00034 A, Supreme Court HR-1997-00061 A, No. 96/1996 (1997) (Norway).


[16] See, e.g., Lehtola Veli-Pekka, The Sami siida and the Nordic states from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 1900s, in Conflict and Cooperation in the North 183-94 (Kristina Karppi & Johan Eriksson, eds, 2000); Einar Niemi, History of Minorities: The Sami and the Kvens, in Making a Historical Culture: Historiography in Norway 325-46 (William H. Hubbard et al, eds, 1995); The Sami National Minority in Sweden 7-140 (Birgitta Jahreskog, ed, 1982).


[17] See, e.g., Eva Josefsen, Norwegian Legislation and Administration – Sami Land Rights, Galdu Cala (No. 1, 2007); Elisabeth Einarsbol, Some legal considerations concerning Saami rights in saltwater, Galdu Cala (No. 1, 2006); Henry Minde, Assimilation of the Sami – Implementation and Consequences, Galdu Cala (No. 3, 2005).

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