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Sámi children’s right to learn their language: indigenous experiences and law in the Russian school context
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Samiska barns rätt att lära sig sitt språk : urfolks upplevelser och lag i rysk skolkontext (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is about the right to language (RtL), particularly about Sámi children’s right to learn their language in school in Russia. The thesis consists of overarching research questions, methodology, and six studies. 

This is interdisciplinary research within the field of the Sámi studies. The research combines approaches of law, sociology of law, and language sociology. In the thesis, I describe the overall methodology that obliged me to use several data gathering methods, as well as different analytical approaches. In the studies, I employed the legal method, interviews, thematic interview analysis, and document analysis according to themes. The theoretical framework of the thesis is based on two theoretical pillars: Pound’s ‘Law in Books’ and Ehrlich’s ‘Living Law’.

One of the key findings of the research is five core elements of the RtL that were deduced as a result of the analysis of international law. These elements are: Legal recognition, Non-discrimination, Participation, Appropriate education, and High-quality education. The analysis of the Russian law demonstrates that these five elements are present in the Russian legal provisions. However, the contents of some of these elements in the Russian legislation vary from the contents of the respective elements found in the relevant international and regional legal acts.

Another key finding of this research indicates that the extent, the content, and the organisation of the current Sámi extracurricular language activity refer to a marginalized form of language education of the Sámi learners in Russia. The potential power of the legal framework of the RtL is not utilized for strengthening teaching and learning opportunities of the Sámi language in school. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå University, 2024. , p. 90
Series
Umeå studies in language and literature ; 56
Series
Umeå Studies in the Educational Sciences, ISSN 2004-8890, E-ISSN 2004-8661 ; 70
Keywords [en]
right to language, Sámi, school, Russia, Living law, Law in books
National Category
Law and Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-223978ISBN: 978-91-8070-366-6 (print)ISBN: 978-91-8070-367-3 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-223978DiVA, id: diva2:1855871
Public defence
2024-06-05, HUM.D.210 - Hummelhonung, Humanisthuset, Umeå, 08:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-05-15 Created: 2024-05-03 Last updated: 2024-05-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The development of Sámi children's right to learn Sámi in the Russian school context
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The development of Sámi children's right to learn Sámi in the Russian school context
2019 (English)In: Sámi educational history in a comparative international perspective / [ed] Otso Kortekangas; Pigga Keskitalo; Jukka Nyyssönen; Andrej Kotljarchuk; Merja Paksuniemi; David Sjögren, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, p. 105-123Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter, we show how the provisions of international law concerning Indigenous children's right to learn their mother tongue in school have evolved over time and how the provisions of the Russian national legislation comply with international law. In the light of this framework, we present the historic trajectory of Sámi education at the Lovozero School, from the end of the 1800s to the organizational and attitudinal breaking point experienced during the school year of 2016–2017. Although the Russian legislation has come to contain the elements of the right in focus, we claim that the realization of this right has been, and still is, problematic. A further analysis indicates a recent negative change of the curricular contents, and of the interest of the Sámi learners to attend the Sámi language lessons. This change coincides with a shift from language-oriented teaching into history and culture-oriented program at the school, as well as with negative changes in the speaker demography.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2019
Keywords
Sámi, children's rights, Russia, school, mother tongue, legal acts, legislation
National Category
History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-163411 (URN)10.1007/978-3-030-24112-4_7 (DOI)2-s2.0-85086220153 (Scopus ID)978-3-030-24112-4 (ISBN)978-3-030-24111-7 (ISBN)
Available from: 2019-09-19 Created: 2019-09-19 Last updated: 2024-05-06Bibliographically approved
2. Institutionalised Sámi education in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Institutionalised Sámi education in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The school was one of the main institutions where policies of colonization and assimilation took place. Currently, in the four countries where Sami people reside, namely Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, different policies for supporting Sami languages are carried out. Sami teaching at school is provided in these countries to different extents. In addition to physical teaching in these four countries, remote Sami language education in primary and secondary schools is provided solely in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. In Norway, two universities offer different Sami language courses within teacher training programmes. In addition, the Sami University of Applied Sciences carries out North Sami teacher education, both for early childhood education as well as primary and secondary education, and it is taught in the North Sami language. In Sweden, the University of Umeå provides courses for Sami language teachers. In Finland, several universities offer Sami language courses for teachers. In Russia, the Murmansk Arctic State University offers a philological master programme called ‘Technologies of the Sami Language Teaching’. The Institute of the Peoples of the North of the Herzen University offers pedagogical education at the bachelor level. Within this education, Sami language courses are provided. This chapter demonstrates the positive policy tendencies regarding Sami people in four countries and their languages. Besides this, there are an increasing number of projects on Sami language learning and professional training across the four countries. Nevertheless, there is still work to be done to improve the existing tendencies. 

Keywords
Sami education, Sami language teaching in school, Sami language in higher education, Norway – Sweden – Finland – Russia, North Sami, Ume Sami, Pite Sami, South Sami, Lule Sami, Kildin Sami
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-224016 (URN)
Note

This book chapter is accepted for publication (so it is still a manuscript). It is part of my dissertataion 'Sámi Children’s Right to Learn Their Language: Indigenous Experiences and Law in the Russian School Context '

The editors of the whole book are P. Keskitalo, T. Olsen, A-L. Drugge and R. Rahko-Ravantti. The title of the book is 'Girjjohallat girjáivuođa – Embracing diversity: Saami education theory, practice and research'.

Available from: 2024-05-06 Created: 2024-05-06 Last updated: 2024-05-06
3. Human rights of indigenous small-numbered peoples in Russia: recent developments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Human rights of indigenous small-numbered peoples in Russia: recent developments
2020 (English)In: Arctic Review on Law and Politics, ISSN 1891-6252, E-ISSN 2387-4562, Vol. 11, p. 334-359Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Russia, there exist legal norms providing for the protection of indigenous small-numbered peoples’ rights. Yet, indigenous small-numbered peoples face multiple challenges when it comes to the implementation of their rights. After a brief presentation of the Russian legislation on the rights of indigenous small-numbered peoples, peculiarities of the Russian legal system and impediments to the legal provisions regulating the status of indigenous small-numbered peoples, this article addresses several issues related to the implementation of indigenous small-numbered peoples’ rights in Russia today. One of the core issues is the attribution of individual members of indigenous communities to indigenous small-numbered peoples. Such an attribution is still challenging despite the newly adopted amendments to the 30 April 1999 Federal Law N 82-FL: ‘On Guarantees of the Rights of Indigenous Small-Numbered Peoples of the Russian Federation’. Another issue is application of the notion ‘foreign agent’ to individuals and non-commercial organizations. Still another issue is the State’s pressure on independent indigenous organizations. The final challenge is the possible impact of amendments to the Constitution approved by popular vote in July 2020 on the rights of indigenous small-numbered peoples.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, 2020
Keywords
identity, foreign agent, constitutional amendments, State’s pressure
National Category
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-177437 (URN)10.23865/arctic.v11.2336 (DOI)2-s2.0-85097953327 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2020-12-09 Created: 2020-12-09 Last updated: 2024-05-06Bibliographically approved
4. The place of indigenous languages in the Russian system of school education: a legal analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The place of indigenous languages in the Russian system of school education: a legal analysis
2019 (English)In: The Yearbook of Polar Law, ISSN 1876-8814, E-ISSN 2211-6427, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 75-101Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There are 47 groups of indigenous peoples in Russia. Many languages of indigenous peoples are at the edge of extinction. From 1995 to 2010 the proportion of indigenous pupils among all indigenous peoples learning their mother tongue decreased by almost half. This article examines the legal regulation of the Russian system of school education and defines what place indigenous languages have in this system. The author comes to the conclusion that realising the right of indigenous children to learn their mother tongue in Russia is complicated by many factors of both legal and non-legal character.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brill Academic Publishers, 2019
Keywords
indigenous peoples, Russia, school education, mother tongue
National Category
Law and Society
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-162097 (URN)10.1163/22116427_010010006 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-08-13 Created: 2019-08-13 Last updated: 2024-05-06Bibliographically approved
5. The right to language in school: Russian Sámi
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The right to language in school: Russian Sámi
2024 (English)In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, ISSN 1385-4879, E-ISSN 1571-8115Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This paper is about Sámi children’s right to learn their language in school in Russia (henceforth referred to as RtL). First, the core elements of this right are deduced from the international and regional instruments. These elements are legal recognition, nondiscrimination, participation, appropriate education, and high-quality education. Then, the Russian legal acts are analysed to identify to what extent these elements are present in the Russian legal acts. The paper demonstrates that the five deduced elements of the RtL are found in the relevant Russian legal acts. However, the contents of some of these elements in the Russian legal acts are different from the contents of the corresponding elements deduced from the international and regional legal instruments. The paper also identifies challenges in the Russian legal acts that hinder the realisation of the RtL.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brill Nijhoff, 2024
Keywords
right to language, Russian Sámi, school
National Category
Law and Society
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-221550 (URN)10.1163/15718115-bja10145 (DOI)2-s2.0-85185176329 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2024-03-06 Created: 2024-03-06 Last updated: 2024-05-17
6. Lived experiences of the right to Sámi language in school
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lived experiences of the right to Sámi language in school
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this article, we showcase the study in which we analyzed the lived experiences of the right to language in the Sámi context in Russia. In this study, we demonstrated how the social agents involved in Sámi education experienced the connection between the right to language and the current practices of Sámi language teaching in the school context. Furthermore, we investigated how social agents’ voiced experiences and views on the right to language were impacted by the local Sámi context in Russia.

Keywords
lived experiences, right to language, Sámi, Russia, school, local Sámi context
National Category
Law and Society
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-224017 (URN)
Note

This manuscript is a part of my dissertation "Sámi Children’s Right to Learn Their Language Indigenous Experiences and Law in the Russian School Context "

Available from: 2024-05-06 Created: 2024-05-06 Last updated: 2024-05-06

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1112131415161714 of 18
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