Indigenous economies in the Arctic: To thrive or to survive?

Elena Gladun, Soili Nystén-Haarala, Svetlana Tulaeva

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Abstract

There is a growing global interest in Arctic natural resources that have a strong influence on the localeconomies. The Arctic economy is a rather unique phenomenon encompassing Indigenous practices, localeconomic activities, and industrial development. Indigenous economies vary across the Arctic states andexhibit divergent economic mixtures. In globalizingsocieties and full market economies, traditionalIndigenous economies are changing and perceived especially by the non-Indigenous to be a tribute to oldcustoms rather than a way of life that is being followed by the young generation. However, certain groupsof the contemporary Indigenous populations in the Arctic continue to preserve their culture and ensure thecontinuation of Indigenous ways of life.The development of Indigenous communities is closely linked to theireconomic well-being, on the one hand, and to their culture and traditions, on the other. Our article contributesto the discussion on the significance of Indigenouseconomies in providing sustainability in terms ofIndigenous communities, their culture, and traditions. The research objective is to identify strategies andtools that sustain Indigenous economies as well as the goals of various stakeholders in encouraging andsupporting the traditional economic activities of Indigenous peoples. We contrast three countries—Russia,Finland, and the United States (Alaska)—and discuss some governmental strategies that can be employed forpreserving unique Indigenous economies. The research methods consist of a content analysis of state andregional legislation and strategies, social studies of stakeholders’opinions, case studies describing marketinfrastructure, and economic activities as well as features of traditional lifestyles and Indigenous knowledgetypical of these regions.
Translated title of the contributionArktisten alkuperäiskansojen talous: Kukoistaa vai selviytyä?
Original languageEnglish
Article number9 (1)
Number of pages21
JournalElementa
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Arctic
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Indigenous economy
  • Traditional culture
  • Russia
  • Finland
  • Alaska

Field of science

  • Law
  • Social and economic geography

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