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The past is present: Death systems among the Indigenous Sámi in Northern Scandinavia today
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. (DöBra)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4546-5269
(DöBra)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8549-1886
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Várdduo – Centre for Sámi Research. Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies. (DöBra)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6294-0503
Karolinska institutet. (DöBra)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4161-0342
2020 (English)In: Mortality, ISSN 1357-6275, E-ISSN 1469-9885Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Despite growing interest in Indigenous health, the lack of end-of-life (EOL) research about the Sámi people led us to explore experience-based knowledge about EoL issues among the Sámi. We aim here to describe Sámi death systems and the extent to which Kastenbaum’s conceptualisation of death systems is appropriate to Sámi culture. Transcribed conversational interviews with 15 individuals, chosen for their varied experiences with EoL issues among Sámi, were first inductively analysed. Kastenbaum’s model of death systems, with functions along a time trajectory from prevention to social consolidation after death, and the components of people, times, places, and symbols/objects, was applied thereafter in an effort to understand the data. The model provides a framework for understanding aspects of the death system that were Sámi-specific, Sámi-relevant as well as what has changed over time. Whereas Kastenbaum differentiated among the components of the death system, our analysis indicated these were often so interrelated as to be nearly inseparable among the Sámi. Seasonal changes and relationships to nature instead of calendar time dominated death systems, linking people, places and times. The extended family’s role in enculturation across generations and EoL support was salient. Numerous markers of Sámi culture, both death-specific and those recruited into the death system, strengthened community identity in the EoL. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020.
Keywords [en]
Culture; death systems; end-of-life care; Indigenous; Kastenbaum; Sámi; Arctic
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
health services research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-167910DOI: 10.1080/13576275.2020.1715359Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85078439729OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-167910DiVA, id: diva2:1391990
Available from: 2020-02-06 Created: 2020-02-06 Last updated: 2020-02-07

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Kroik, LenaStoor, Krister

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Kroik, LenaLinqvist, OlavStoor, KristerTishelman, Carol
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