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Master's theses in indigenous studies





Published: Sun, 29 Oct 2017 02:19:10 GMT2017-10-29T02:19:10Z

 



Queering quasar BO-2K. Dis/orienting white settler coloniality

Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT2017-05-15T00:00:00Z

D'Entremont, Cody Joshua
Taking Indigenous worlds seriously raises questions not only about the institutions and bureaucratization of settler colonialism as a never ending project; but also brings settler bodies, knowledges, and ontologies under questioning as they are the dominating worldings – to which they enact one-worlding. White settler bodies do not make up its whole, but are inseparable to its dynamic, fractured, and multiple transmutations through space and time. This project follows the tensions created out of the critiques found in Indigenous and people of colour narratives, art, music, and knowledges towards the white settler colonial body and its relations. Taking epistemic and body/intellectual differences seriously in their worlding otherwise is a difficult and challenging task – it is dis/orienting. However, It is not (im)possible.



District plans in reindeer husbandry in Northern Norway. Roles and challenges

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT2017-06-22T00:00:00Z

Eira, Biret-Risten
This thesis deals with the reindeer husbandry’s district plans, and are industry’s own official document. They provide information about the reindeer husbandry practiced in the reindeer grazing district. The plans should provide information necessary for the public planning and should function as a tool to reduce conflicts and enhance cooperation among reindeer herders and other users. I have examined the reasons why the district plans have not functioned as intended by looking at the experiences and expectations with the plans. Methods used are depth-interviews, document analysis and participating in meetings. The plans have not so far prevented conflicts, nor enhanced the cooperation and communication between the reindeer herders and the municipalities because of the lack of awareness of the plans. In addition to unawareness about the plans, I argue that the challenges related to the plans can be explained by insufficient knowledge about reindeer husbandry and different “glances” on the tension between flexibility and rigidity. In particular, the issue of classification of land illustrate this tension.



Shaping indigenous identity. The power of music

Tue, 16 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT2017-05-16T00:00:00Z

Udaya, Eman
This thesis deals with music and expression of indigenous identity. The focus of the study is the musical performances and stories of primarily Sámi, the indigenous people inhabiting the areas of Northern Fennoscandia comprising of Norway, Finland, Sweden and the Russian Kola Peninsula. It also includes the Tuvan, the inhabitant of the Republic of Tuva in Central Asia which is a member of Russian Federation. The study situates the primary fieldwork setting Riddu Riđđu Festival, which is an important coastal Sámi and international indigenous festival, as a symbolic site where musical performances take place and indigenous identities are embodied, managed and celebrated. Taking two vocal traditions: Joik (Sápmi) and Xöömei (the Republic of Tuva) and their use in contemporary Sápmi and Tuvan soundscape, this study explores the contemplative process of understanding oneself in the process of asserting and expressing one’s indigenous identity, and the significance of music in this process. Through music, these musicians tell the tales of their lives: their experiences, encounters, attachments, belongings, emotions, and sentiments. Through music, they portray the interconnectedness to their cosmology and spirituality. Their music makes one think, rethink and question the understanding regarding indigenous identity. This thesis discusses how musical practices and performances become a process for these individuals through with they experience themselves, and also express their indigenous identity. Therefore, this thesis documents the phenomenon where music becomes a journey that leads these individual to the manifestation of their indigenous identities.



Indigenous wellbeing in university spaces. Experiences of indigenous students at the Australian National University

Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT2017-05-15T00:00:00Z

Powell, Maeve Shirley
This thesis aims to address the issue of Indigenous Australian conceptions of wellbeing in the context of university education. It will examine the role of an Indigenous student support unit in providing a space in which Indigenous wellbeing is enacted, supported and strengthened. The findings are based on discussions with six Indigenous students who were enrolled at the Australian National University and used the Tjabal Indigenous Higher Education Centre and one staff member. In this research I discuss how Indigenous students conceptualise and articulate wellbeing in a local university context. I also address institutional arrangements of university spaces in accounting for the differences in Indigenous student wellbeing. Lastly I examine how spaces for Indigenous wellbeing at the university are produced. I argue that students’ conception and articulation of wellbeing is based in a sense of belonging. Students experience challenges to wellbeing in university spaces as they enter racialised spaces. Wellbeing has also been challenged by culturally unsafe practices in some courses. The Tjabal Centre represents a space for Indigenous wellbeing which has been produced through spatial practice, the use of signs and symbols, and through planning. It is a space where Indigenous ontologies and epistemologies can be enacted in the everyday. Students have extended space for wellbeing on campus through the use of tactics and everyday acts of resistance.



Educating the majority. How are the Norwegianization process and the Alta conflict presented in lower secondary school textbooks?

Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT2017-05-15T00:00:00Z

Tryndyuk, Iryna
This thesis is devoted to the issue of education about the Sami in Norway. The aim of the study is to analyze how important events from Sami history are presented in Norwegian Social Studies textbooks. The study is based on an analysis of textbooks currently used in lower secondary schools following the National Curriculum. Textbook analysis is the main research method for the thesis. The cases analyzed are the Norwegianization process of the Sami population and the Alta conflict. In comparison to research on other indigenous peoples, Sami history and culture seem well represented, though much of this research is published in Norwegian. This thesis is written in English and, consequently, may be used by not only a Norwegian-speaking audience. It uncovers the nature of information given at lower secondary school about two of the most important events in Sami history. It may be an important contribution to the development of future curricula plans, as well as testing the relevance of the textbooks offered for the pupils.



Behind the scenes of street begging. Karamojong women of North Eastern Uganda.

Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT2017-05-15T00:00:00Z

Musubika, Sarah
When one walks through the various streets of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, one encounters a diversity of beggars. Among them, are Karamojong women and children stationed at different places, and pleading with by-passers to offer them something. Scenes of Karamojong mothers breast feeding their babies while begging, and always set to run into hiding when they sight city authorities, are common on most busy streets of Kampala. This study investigated why Karamojong women engage in street begging, the challenges they encounter, how they cope, and the role men play. The study based on data gathered through qualitative ethnographic fieldwork in Kampala Uganda using interviews, observation, narratives and archival records. The violence and oppression that Karamojong women face daily during street begging requires an intersectional approach to obtain a better grasp of the situation. Through the fusion of Indigenous Feminism and Intersectionality, this study presents an analysis that takes into account the dynamics of race, ethnicity, class, gender and other dimensions of social inequality and difference that force Karamojong women into street begging. The findings show that the hassle of the city is tough, and only the fit survive. Karamojong women are determined and maneuver their way around the city even though they face many challenges as they go about begging. Their lives are entangled with historical effects of colonization, patriarchy, racism and sexism; which manifest through stigmatization, exploitation, prejudices and derogatory references both within and outside their society; all of which bolster subordination and vulnerability. Faced with such challenges, Karamojong women are strong, resilient people who do not concede to their plight, neither do they easily join the band wagon of the township. They still embrace their cultural values, identity, the right to be different and strive against all odds to fulfill their roles and responsibilities.  



Clothes and ethnic identity: (re)constructing identity through cultural clothes as ethnic markers. The case of Siltie nationality of Southern Ethiopia

Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT2017-05-15T00:00:00Z

Ahmed, Kederala Mohammed
Clothes and Ethnic Identity: (Re)Constructing Identity through Cultural Clothes as Ethnic Markers. The Case of Siltie Nationality of Southern Ethiopia is a project which investigates the new trends of “creating” costumes among ethnic groups in Ethiopia, with a focus on the interface between cultural costumes and ethnic identity. The project uses the Siltie people as its case. I am attracted to this issue because of my personal observation of this trend among the ethnic groups in my locality. Following the 1995 ethnic federalism arrangement, many nations and nationalities of Ethiopia started to develop and promote their language for education, administration, legal purposes and so on. Moreover, they began to (re)write their histories, and promote their “traditional” costumes. Along the lines of promoting their costumes, the nationalities have started to identify the color, symbols and signs associated with their ‘distinctive’ cultures. The attempt to find symbolic representations, in some case, resulted in producing cultural costumes with “new” signs, symbols and colors which have never been used on their costume. The Siltie people are one of the ethnic groups who got a new ‘cultural’ costume following this trend. Hence, the main objective of the research is, to trace the changes and continuity in the ‘cultural’ dressing of the community and examine the incentives for creating “new” costumes. The research examines the links between the newly designed costume and the Siltie people’s culture, history and religion. Knowing people’s reflection and reaction regarding the ‘newly invented’ costume was a main objective of this project. I gathered extensive qualitative data through interviews, focus group discussions and observation and used available secondary resources and other readings. The intensification in the (re)production of cultural markers in general and clothes in particular in contemporary Ethiopia is strongly linked to the post-1991 constitutional developments in the country. The current politics in Siltie regarding clothing cannot be separated from its long-term quest for ethnic recognition, which in turn is seen as a way to get back to self-administration, enjoying, protecting and promoting one's own cultural values and heritages. Though the costume is elitists’ drive project, it is getting acceptance. If the promotion of the costume continues and keeps its momentum, it is expected that it would be a part and parcel the people’s culture and serve as an identity marker of the group underlining an “Us” and “Them” distinction.



Coastal livelihoods in Northern Norway. Sustainable development of small-scale fishers and Sámi

Mon, 15 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT2017-05-15T00:00:00Z

Miller, Peter Michael
The sustainable development of small-scale fisher livelihood is important for the well-being and food security of millions of people around the world. However, factors that contribute to the sustainable development of this livelihood are under-developed in research (The World Bank, 2008; United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 2007). Within this knowledge gap, this applied research project explores factors that contribute to the sustainable development of small-scale fisher livelihoods in northern Norway, a region where the indigenous way of life for coastal Sámi dates back centuries (Pedersen, 2012). In doing so, it includes a case study conducted on the island of Spildra in Troms County, in which contemporary livelihood is examined and factors identified as challenging are investigated using a sustainable livelihood approach to research. Subsequently, based on research informant’s goals and aspirations, suggestions are prescribed that potentially provide the opportunity to help reach goals of sustainable development, including community-based collaborative management of natural marine resources (co-management) and asserting a human rights-based approach to problem-solving.



Indentured servitude to post-freedom predicament. A study of oppression of young Tharu Kamlari women of Dang, Nepal

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT2016-11-01T00:00:00Z

Basnet, Bhakta Bahadur
This study reflects on the predicament of the young Tharu Kamalri women after their legal emancipation in 2013, who had formerly been subjected to be the victims of bonded servitude in the name of the Kamlari system prevailing in Dang district of western Nepal. This study presents and analyses the accounts of the lives of young Kamlari women during their years in servitude, along with their experiences after they gained freedom. The freedom they obtained did not always bring the changes they expected. This study assumes that the much awaited freedom could not overcome the legacy of the evils of bonded servitude that existed from historical times, specifically, victimizing the young women of Tharu indigenous community. This study seeks to examine how the historical and systemic injustice and the socio-economic disparity occurred on a multidimensional basis, specifically victimizing the young Tharu women, forcing them to enter into bondage, thus continuing their oppression. While doing so, this study incorporates the theory of intersectionality to explore how the young Tharu women have been forced to be victims of bonded servitude owing to the intersection of multiple oppressions based on their ethnicity, class and gender.



Health Seeking Behavior for Garo Children of Madhupur, Bangladesh

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT2016-11-01T00:00:00Z

Navile, Tahura Enam
This master’s thesis explores the health seeking behaviors for children in the Garo indigenous community of Bangladesh drawing on medical pluralism theoretical framework. The thesis is based on one month-long fieldwork in a northern village of the country, Sainamari. In this village, different health care systems co-exist: the scientific medical system (missionary clinics, pharmacist, hospitals, village doctors, clinics), the traditional herbalists (Kabiraj), the spiritual healer (Khamal), and the use of household treatment system like home-remedies. This study analyzes how the parents define illnesses and seek therapies for their children’s health and use their indigenous cultural practices to health maintenance for their future generation. Although bio-medicine became the dominant model in terms of health care practices around the world, the Garo indigenous community still highly depends on self-treatments, like home-remedies and folk healers like the Kabiraj and the Khamal. The findings of this thesis contributes to the understanding of how the Garo people’s child healthcare in Bangladesh works.