In order to stimulate discussions and reflections on the community developments in the Snowchange Arctic network, we are launching a new web-based series – Snowchange Discussion Papers – today. The first in these occasional series is titled “Does Siida Life Continue? – Brief Overview of the Land Use and Occupancy and Human Histories of the Indigenous Inari (Aanaar) Sámi Reindeer Herding Community ”Nellimin tokkakunta”.
In short, the main aim of this paper is to investigate the question preliminarily whether some aspects of the Indigenous Sámi siida community governance survive to modern day. This is achieved by producing a brief overview of aspects of land use and Indigenous histories of the Inari (Aanaar) Sámi reindeer herding community which is now emerging (2011) as ”Nellimin tokkakunta” (loosely translated as Sámi Reindeer-herding Unit of Nellim) which is conducting Sámi-style reindeer herding in the area of Nellim, which belongs to the municipality of Inari in Finland. Previously this community has been a part of the state-instituted Ivalon paliskunta system. The community of Nellim reindeer herders is in a state of conflict with the state reindeer-herding unit and is currently emerging as an “Sámi-style” reindeer herding community. The paper discusses pre-historic and archaeological roots of Inari Sámi and Sámi land use and occupancy in the region, traces aspects of historical land use of the area with a focus on the Sámi and ends with a view regarding contemporary situation of the Nellim Inari Sámi based in preliminary informant interviews from 2011. The scientific view of the paper rests on the methods of human geography, investigation of archival and printed materials, fieldwork in the region in spring and summer 2011, and selected initial interview with the key informants in the region in May 2011.
The paper is available here.