Are Reindeer the New Buffalo? Climate Change, the Green Shift, and Manifest Destiny in Sápmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In the nineteenth century prairies, the buffalo was nearly exterminated as the result of the European economic and ecological invasion. Today in Scandinavia, reindeer is being threatened by the renewable energy transition, also known as the Green Shift. The Green Shift has led to an explosion of wind industry in many countries, including Norway. Many of the onshore wind development projects have been built in areas central to reindeer herding. This article asks whether reindeer has become the new buffalo that is being sacrificed in the race to building green energies. It considers the history of viewing reindeer herding as a vanishing livelihood and the pervasive colonial discourse of manifest destiny, which sees Indigenous peoples as disappearing in the process of natural selection and progress. The article also examines the Feminist New Green Deal as an example of policy framework calling for a broader intersectional approach that places race, unequal relations of power, and Indigenous rights at the heart of policy-making. It considers whether the FNGD is able to tackle and engage with the trajectories of settler colonialism, including manifest destiny and green colonialism. The article focuses specifically on Norway for its leading role in the energy transition and wind energy development in the Nordic countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-33
Number of pages23
JournalMeridians: feminism, race, transnationalism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Field of science

  • Environmental sciences

Citation for this output