Research database

Project information
indigenous peoples, governance, environmental decision making, traditional knowledge, land use conflicts, industry development
Project title
IndGov: Indigenous-industry governance interactions in the Arctic. Environmental impacts and knowledge basis for management.
Project leader
Camilla Brattland/Else Grete Broderstad, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway
Geographical localization of the research project in decimal degrees (max 5 per project, ex. 70,662°N and 23,707°E)
Stakeholder workshop in Kiruna, Sweden at 67.8557200 °N and 20.2251300 °E

 Centre for Sami Studies, UiT:

 Camilla Brattland,  Else Grete Broderstad and Niklas Labba

 Dorothee Schreiber, Cathy Howlett

 Horatio Sam-Aggrey, Catherine Moriarty

 Institute for Marine and Arctic Biology, UiT:

 Sigrid Engen and Vera Hausner

 Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU):

 Einar Eythórsson

 International partners:

University of Lapland, Finland: Monica Tennberg

 University of Saskatchewan, Canada: Greg Poelzer

 Sveriges Landbruks Universitet: Per Sandström

 Griffith University, Australia: Catherine Howlett

Summary of Results


The IndGov project aims at gaining comparative knowledge of indigenous relations with industry in terms of traditional knowledge integration and successful governance mechanisms. The main activities in 2018 were 1) continued analysis of cases of industry-indigenous relations gathered in the previous project years and 2) investigation of cumulative impacts of mining industry and other land development projects on reindeer husbandry in Troms and Sweden (Kiruna area). Analysis of material from data gathering, interviews and literature reviews on indigenous interactions with the aquaculture industry that started in 2017 (focus on British Columbia and Tysfjord cases) continued in 2018. A report from the 2017 IndGov stakeholder workshop in Tysfjord is under preparation (Moriarty ed.). Howlett travelled to NZ in April and undertook 9 days fieldwork. Her case involves a recent application by New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) to develop new acquaculture sites in the Marlborough Sounds. The case is a complex illustration of the treatment of Maori interests and knowledge in the governance of aquaculture in NZ.  Interviews with Cermaq (Broderstad) and the Norwegian Sami Parliament (Brattland and Eythórsson) were conducted in May and June 2018. Due to the emergence of criticism from Sami stakeholders on recent aquaculture establishment in Finnmark (i.e. Vedbotn), the IndGov project focus was expanded to include the Porsanger fjord as a case area with a joint seminar with Coastal Sami Resource Centre and excursion with interviews to Porsanger, Vedbotn in June 2018 (Dorothee Schreiber and Camilla Brattland). Around 35 participants from several coastal municipalities, environmental and Sami organizations, and research institutes (Norut and NIKU) attended the workshop. The revealed a knowledge gap concerning the opportunities for Sami communities to participate in coastal zone planning in Finnmark.  The case studies are integrated in ongoing comparative analysis of aquaculture-indigenous relations in Norway, Canada and New Zealand in the publications Eythórsson et al. (in press) and in Brattland et al. (forthcoming) and is included in a new Norwegian Research Council project (IndKnow, Centre for Sami Studies). Cumulative impacts on reindeer husbandry: A content analysis of objections to encroachments by industry on reindeer husbandry in Troms County was conducted by Sigrid Engen, AMB. A publication on Sami land use and impacts is under preparation for a peer-reviewed journal (Engen, Hausner, Brattland, Broderstad). The analysis was presented at the IndGov stakeholder workshop in Kiruna, Sweden. A stakeholder workshop was held 19-21 of September 2018 and was organized in collaboration between the Centre for Sami Studies (UiT), the Swedish Agricultural University (Per Sandström) and the Sami villages Gabna and Laevas, with contributions from the Swedish mining company LKAB. The workshop was organized in conjunction with the TriArc research project, which facilitated exchange of comparative perspectives from TriArc researchers at the stakeholder workshop. Comparison between cases of indigenous-industry relations in the Arctic is a main method for the workshops, where these are presented and discussed. The Kiruna workshop provided in-depth understanding of relations between the Sami villages Gábna and Laevas and their relations with the mining company and their impacts on reindeer husbandry in Kiruna. Present at the workshop were representatives from the Sami villages, the Swedish Sami Parliament, and LKAB. A handbook for assessment of cumulative impacts on reindeer husbandry developed by the villages and LKAB in collaboration with Per Sandström at the Swedish Agricultural University was presented. This case will be compared with the analysis of cumulative impacts of land developments on reindeer husbandry in Troms, and contrasted with cases of indigenous-industry collaborations across the Arctic. One of these is an investigation into methods for incorporating traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in mining operations in the Northwest Territories, Canada, conducted by Horatio Sam-Aggrey in the summer and fall of 2018.  



Master and PhD-students involved in the project

Master stipend: Sam-Aggrey has carried out data gathering on IBAs and methods for integrating traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in mining operations in Northwest Territories, Canada during the summer and fall of 2018. The master thesis has been submitted to the GENI program at UiT in November 2018.


For the Management

The IndGov project in 2018 offered a venue for comparing indigenous involvement in industry in terms of governance and integration of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) between diverse contexts: several First Nations´ opposition to and direct agreements with fish farmers (Marine Harvest and Cermaq) in British Columbia, Canada and relevant cases where Sami interests have been a concern for the planning of aquaculture sites and community development in Northern Norway (Grieg Seafoods, Nordkapp municipality). The project held a joint seminar with the Coastal Sami Resource Centre in Porsanger in June 2018 where cases were presented and discussed with local and Sami institutions engaged in coastal zone conflicts in Finnmark. Industry stakeholders have been interviewed (Cermaq Norway) on the company’s establishment on the west coast of Canada, the work with First Nations and comparisons with the Norwegian context. The project highlights the strong role of state coastal zone planning with local government involvement in Norway, contrasted with the absence of a strong planning regime in Canada and the practice of direct agreements and negotiations/consultations between the aquaculture industry and First Nations communities, and the complexity of Maori participation in the aquaculture industry in New Zealand. The Kiruna workshop, arranged 19.-21st of September 2018, focused on the interactions between the reindeer husbandry and the mining industry. The program was planned in close cooperation with the two Sami villages, Gábna and Leavas, and included lectures and excursions. Prior to the excursions, the Sami reindeer herders presented context, challenges and possibilities in their interactions with the mining company LKAB. They also emphasised the cumulative impacts of different stressful impacts on the husbandry. The Gábna and Leavas people and the LKAB representatives attended the whole seminar, and commented on each other’s presentations. Scholars from Luleå University of Technology, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and from UiT commented on controversies over mine establishment in Northern Sweden, on the cumulative impacts on reindeer husbandry, on the role of TEK in decision making of the boards regarding mining impact mitigation and on and the right of Sami herders to object when pasture loss is at stake.



Published Results/Planned Publications

Eythórsson, Einar, Broderstad, Else Grete, Schreiber, Dorothee and Camilla Brattland. Governance of marine space; influence of indigenous peoples on location of aquaculture installations. Chapter in Allen, S., Bankes, N. and Ø. Ravna (eds). The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Marine Areas Hart Publishing, London

The following are work in progress:

Moriarty, C. Report from the Tysfjord stakeholder workshop, UiT report, due spring 2019

  • Sam-Aggrey, H. (Forthcoming). The Role of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in fostering Environmental Security in the Arctic. The Routledge Handbook of Arctic Security. London, UK: Routledge

  • Horatio Sam-Aggey: The role of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in fishery management in BC:  A case study of the  West Coast Aquatic model (unpublished) In Tennberg, Monica et al. (eds.) forthcoming.

  • Brattland, Camillla, Schreiber, Dorothee, Broderstad, Else Grete and Cathy Howlett. Indigenous-aquaculture interactions and local community relations in Norway, Canada and New Zealand. In Tennberg, Monica et al. (eds.) forthcoming.

  • Engen, S., Hausner, V. , Brattland, C. and E.G. Broderstad (forthcoming). Using decision analysis to assess avoided land use changes - the impact of participation by indigenous people in land use planning. (Journal to be decided).


Communicated Results

 IndGov web page:

 26.06.2018: Presentation of IndGov at Porsanger seminar, Coastal Sami Resource Cente, Indre Billefjord

15.08.206: “First Nations vil ha kontakt med samer om oppdrett”, Dorothee Schreiber, blog post at 

18.10.18: Presentation of IndGov at MIKON flagship meeting

21.09.2018: Presentation of IndGov at Kiruna stakeholder workshop


Interdisciplinary Cooperation


IndGov depends on collaborative team research including social scientists, ecologists and participants from indigenous organizations. The policy-relevant question on how different knowledge systems could enhance coastal zone – and land use planning require interdisciplinary competences from different scientific fields, but also direct collaborations with people with non-academic expertise. By use of participatory workshops we are better equipped to understand how local perceptions of the industries could be integrated in management and how guidelines for collaborating with indigenous communities could be developed.


Through TriArc and IndGov, social scientists at UiT and NIKU cooperate with people with competence in sustainability science, Vera Hausner at UiT, and ecologist, Per Sandstrøm, at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences on papers listed above.


Budget in accordance to results


In collaboration with the Swedish Agricultural University, the planned workshop to be held in Tromsø was moved to Kiruna to improve learning from the collaboration between reindeer herders and LKAB in the Swedish context. This significantly reduced workshop costs in relation to the planned budget. The budget included a substantial sum for a research assistant to prepare and work on the analysis of impacts on reindeer husbandry in Troms County. The analysis proved to be more comprehensive than planned, and funding was reallocated from budgeted costs for research assistants, from NIKU and from the workshop costs to cover the additional work.


Could results from the project be subject for any commercial utilization


The work initiated by the IndGov project already contributes towards fulfilling the sub goal of identifying criteria for successful integration of traditional knowledge in ecosystem based management and environmental impact assessments. By comparing different approaches to industry-indigenous interactions, we are able to assess the success of traditional knowledge integration and different governance instruments in a diversity of cases. By synthesising the cases produced and presented at stakeholder workshops during the years 2017 and 2018, an overview and analysis of the forms of governance that promote indigenous well-being and social-ecological health will be provided in the final project year.