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Korsmo, Fae L.






Emerging from a session on Indigenous Peoples at the Seventh Circumpolar Universities Co-operation Conference held in Tromso, Norway, in August 2001, this volume assesses the outcomes of the struggle for indigenous rights in recent history. While some of the chapters cover general issues of indigenous rights in international law and in nation-states such as Canada and Australia, other contributions focus on specific groups, such as the Sami in Finland, Norway, Sweden, and northwest Russia; the Maori of New Zealand; and the Rama of Nicaragua. Six of the fifteen chapters focus on Sami resource rights in Norway and Finland. These chapters show that the status of indigenous groups with regard to property rights, co-management authority, and resource allocation generally has improved in the last couple of decades, but progress has been uneven. For example, as Maria Luisa Acosta notes in Chapter 11, the inclusion of the Rama people in a Nicaraguan commission in 2001 represented "the first time that traditional indigenous community leaders have been permitted by law to participate in a governmental commission at such a high level" (p. 227). In contrast to Nicaragua's stance toward indigenous groups, Norway's treatment of the Sami changed from assimilation to recognition because of successful Sami political mobilization in the 197Os and 1980s. As an example of a Norwegian response to Sami pressure, Norway established a Sami fisheries commission in the 199Os to recommend protections for the small-scale Sami fjord fisheries (Nilsen, p. 180).

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