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‘Cooperation is the story’ – best practices of transnational indigenous activism in the North

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Although separated by thousands of kilometres and possessing of distinct cultures, the terrain and climate, along with a similar history of colonialism and oppression, enable the Saami and Inuit to create a similar strategy of advocacy – cooperation without cooptation. This article outlines the strategic steps taken to cultivate this strategy by outlining the creation and exercise of formal institutions, such as the Inuit Circumpolar Council and the Saami Council, as well as educational and cultural programmes. I argue that this process is shaping both customary and codified international law in innovative ways by providing a model of joint-advocacy while respecting and promoting the uniqueness of their respective political, economic and cultural contexts.

Keywords: Arctic; Inuit; Saami; advocacy; indigenous; norms; strategies

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13642987.2011.630498

Affiliations: Education Studies,University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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