Brennpunkt nord

Focal Point North Awards Scholarships to Master’s Students in Indigenous Studies

In fall 2014, Master’s students Lukas Kosner, Simon Pavall and Siv-Eli Vuolab were awarded Focal Point North scholarships. The students, who started the Masters of Indigenous Studies program at the University of Tromsø in August of 2014, come from different backgrounds, but share a love for the North.

Pictured from left to right: Lukas Kosner, Simon Pavall and Siv-Eli Vuolab

Lukas Kosner, who originates from the Czech Republic, has a background in Norwegian and Finnish philology – the study of languages, literature, and culture. He plans to use this background to study language revitalization among the Sami in Finland, perhaps focusing on the Skolt Sami. In his Bachelor’s thesis, Kosner had already started to incorporate Sami perspectives, and he joined the Indigenous Studies program in order to deepen his understanding of Indigenous and minority issues, particularly in the North. He enjoys living in Tromsø, specifically for its size, natural beauty, and local culture, and he plans to stay here after graduation.

Simon Pavall, who grew up in Fauske in northern Norway, has a B.A. in History from the University of Tromsø. After graduating, he participated in the Sami Pathfinders program, and travelled throughout Norway to present Sami culture and issues in schools. Eventually, the program would take him to New York, where he would observe the work of the U.N’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. This would lead him back to Tromsø, to join the Masters of Indigenous Studies program. With his thesis, Pavall hopes to focus on those Sami who helped to transport people across the Norwegian/Swedish border during WWII. Pavall aspires to eventually participate in the Permanent Forum in New York, though he plans to stay in the north, which has always been his home.

Siv-Eli Vuolab, originally from Karasjok, studied and worked as a journalist before joining the Indigenous Studies program at UiT. Though she views the north as her home, working at NRK Sapmi and travelling around the world sparked an interest in Indigenous identity in changing times. She plans on writing her Master’s thesis about maintaining Sami identity in a rapidly changing society. She finds studying the North interesting because the recent global interest in the Arctic has seen “the world coming to the North”. After finishing her degree, she plans to stay in northern Norway, continuing to work in journalism and centering her efforts on Sami issues.

The three scholars hope to use their scholarships to deepen their own understandings of northern issues, and encourage further research on Indigenous issues in the north. In researching Sami language, history, and identity, these three scholars hope to shed light on Sami contemporary realities and their struggles as Indigenous peoples.

By Vanessa Brune and Chelsea Mackay – Students in the Masters of Indigenous Studies program

Ansvarlig for siden: Else Grete Broderstad
Sist oppdatert: 22.11.2021 14:18