Back to search

P-SAMISK-Program for samisk forskning

Assimilation policies in the education of the Kola Sámi in 1900s- 2010s: Historical development and consequences.

Alternative title: Assimilasjonpolitikken overfor Kolasamer ca 1900 til 2010. Historiske endringer og konsekvenser.

Awarded: NOK 3.0 mill.

The thesis traces the impact of the boarding school system in the history of the Sámi people in the Soviet Union, focusing on the development of education and its assimilatory effects. The project analyzes the implementation and consequences of educational policies introduced to the Sámi people of the Kola Peninsula in the period from 1917 to 1991, with a focus on the post war decades. Through analysis of archival materials and interviews with former pupils and teachers at the boarding schools, the study discusses boarding school experiences in relation to preservation and/or loss of the native language among the Sami population. The experiences from the local boarding school context is discussed and explained on the background of the changing policy of regional and central school authorities, as well as other relevant historical context. The thesis draws on methodological perspectives from the field of oral history, and discusses memory and narrative structures in the accounts of the informants. The author herself is a native of the Kola Sami community, and the interviews have been conducted partly in Sami, partly in Russian. The authors role as insider/outsider, as well as perspectives from the field of indigenous methodology are also discussed in the thesis.

If at one time ethnographers tended to romanticize traditional communities, placing them outside of history, contemporary social and anthropological research is now becoming focused on the historical and social influences of particular relationships. The aim of this project is to trace the impacts of a certain policy event in the history of the Sámi people, focusing on the development of education in a particular historical period and its impacts on assimilation. This project will analyze the implementati on and consequences of educational assimilation policies introduced to the Sámi people in Russia in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods of the 1900's up to 2010's. This study will scrutinize the mentioned processes from the point of view of its historical evolution, using an interdisciplinary approach in relation to the existing knowledge on the topic. The primary focus will be devoted to an analysis of assimilation measures on Kola Sámi introduced in boarding schools. One of the tasks in this project conc erns empirical investigation as well as developing theoretical and methodological considerations as related to the situations in indigenous communities in Norway and in U.S.A. This focus will help to analyze and examine the process of the development of e ducation policies and its assimilation effects on the Kola Sámi in the frame of various experiences and socio-cultural perspectives. This research will synthesize systematic historical knowledge with an emphasis on socio-cultural information both nationa lly and internationally, contributing to a better understanding of the policy of assimilation in education in Kola Sámi communities and will be of a value for historians, anthropologists, and various other specialists both in the field of Sámi research an d Northern Circumpolar studies.

Funding scheme:

P-SAMISK-Program for samisk forskning