spring 2021
STV-3020 Indigenous Peoples - Politics, Institutions and Tools - 5 ECTS

Last changed 11.08.2021

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

The course is mandatory for students at the Master¿s Programme in Indigenous Studies (MIS).

The course may also be part of other disciplinary master programmes within social sciences and may be taken as a single course. Prior knowledge of the situation for indigenous peoples are highly recommended.

Admission requirements

Bachelor degree in a social science subject is required as a general rule.

The minimum average grade requirement is:

  • C - for bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in Europe, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand
  • B - for bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in all other countries

The course requires solid competence in reading and writing English.

Application code: 9371.

Course overlap

STV-3013 Indigenous Rights, Politics and Institution Building 5 stp

Course content

The course departs from the current debate over indigenous peoples¿ possibilities for self-determination within nation states. The Sami people in Norway serve as a point of departure for the focus on indigenous institutions, like parliaments, consultations and other tools for decision-making between indigenous peoples and nation state authorities, and tools indigenous peoples can use in interaction with market actors. The course consist of three sections. The first is on indigenous peoples¿ political challenges, and how international law prescribe indigenous participation and involvement vis a vis the nation state and how national regulations attempt to implement these commitments. A second part look at challenges for management of land and water, and how indigenous peoples work with challenges facing their traditional livelihoods, like tensions between these and industrial development. The third part provides an in-depth focus on institutionalization of indigenous self-determination by scrutinizing the model of the Sami parliament while simultaneously addressing the differences in institutional development in the Nordic countries.

Objectives of the course

The students have the following learning outcomes:



The student gets knowledge about

  • important debates on indigenous rights and politics, in particular relating to land and resources, self-determination and culture;
  • how various colonial histories and different systems of government influence and define state-indigenous relations and conditions for self-determination arrangements.



The student knows how to

  • critically examine indigenous rights claims from the foundations of both international law and domestic legal and political developments
  • distinguish between how different country contexts impact debates on indigenous rights issues and political questions

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Teaching methods

12 hours of lectures.


The exam will consist of:

Students must write an essay on a given topic during a period of five days. The maximum limit for the essay is 2500 words.

The exam will be assessed on an A-F grades scale. Grades are A-E for passed and F for failed. Deadline for register for re-sit exams is January 15 for spring semester and August 15 for autumn semester.


  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: STV-3020