SOA-3006 Indigenous Culture, Resource Management and Human Rights - 10 ECTS
The course is part of the International Master of Philosophy in Indigenous Studies (MIS).
It is also optional within the Master in Social Anthropology .
The course may also be part of other disiplinary Master programmes within Social Sciences and Humanities and may be taken as a single course.
The course provides an overview of traditional resource management practices among indigenous peoples, with particular focus on small-scale economies including hunting and gathering, fishing, shifting cultivation, and pastoralism. We explore the connection between these land- (and sea-) based subsistence strategies and other aspects of culture and identity, including social and political structures, traditional knowledge systems, education, language, and cosmology.
Today, these lifeways and cultures are under threat from a number of sources including: intensive resource extraction (mining, logging, oil), large-scale development projects (dams, transportation), environmental issues (pollution, climate change, conservation efforts), and resource competition from neighboring groups. In this course we will identify global processes affecting indigenous lands and livelihood, including political-economic trends and the indigenous rights movement. We will look at how these processes take shape locally, through study of relevant UN mechanisms, regional courts and commissions, and specific local case studies.
Students who successfully complete this course should have achieved the following learning outcomes:
- to explain the main economic and ecological characteristics of different types of indigenous resource management systems
- to be aware of the ethnographic literature of several indigenous societies across the world
- to describe the unique way that indigenous identities are invigorated by resource use paradigms
- to be able to describe the substantive differences and similarities between traditional ecological knowledge and scientific, positivist knowledge
- to be able compare vocabularies relating to human rights and property rights to concepts used within traditional management institutions
- to be able to compare the institutional resource management practices of different indigenous societies across the world
Skills and competences
- to be able to assess the impacts that global management models and external encroachment are having upon indigenous peoples
- to be able to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different institutions protecting land and water-use rights, offering co-management, or protecting nature
- to be able to assist indigenous peoples to best present evidence to protect their political and legal rights.
Course work requirements:
Three individual written assignments/reports.
In order to sit an examination, the student must complete and gain approval for any coursework requirements.
The final exam consists of a home examination and an oral examination. The home examination is to be based on a given topic. Students have one week to complete the home examination. Approximate length: 3500 words (about 10 pages).
The oral examination is intended to assess the student's knowledge of the course literature and general understanding of the course themes. This examination may adjust the grading of the essay.
Marking is made according to a grading scale from A to F, where F is fail.
The course is open for re-sit examination if there are students that due to sickness are entitled to a postponed examination.