World heritage and indigenous rights: Norwegian examples

Gro Birgit Ween

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This article approaches Indigenous concerns with World Heritage through the use of three Norwegian Sámi sites. The article argues the importance of approaching World Heritage as a process. A process, in this context, is a multi-sited, multi-dimensional coming into being. Exploring the ways in which World Heritage sites are brought into existence provides the opportunity for a closer view of exactly how Indigenous rights are relevant. The three Norwegian Sámi cases examined confirm the need to maintain two perspectives of the use of Indigenous rights. Firstly, Indigenous rights are useful as a post-colonial trope, making visible the cultural gaze of World Heritage institutions and processes. Secondly, heritage protection processes have a concrete impact upon the lives of a people. Significant themes in the course of such processes are opportunities of co-management; the continuation of cultural practices and opportunities for economic development. While Norway, internationally speaking, is recognised for its Indigenous rights initiatives, cases of heritage protection have indicated the existence of several severe blind spots in the Sámi rights implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-270
Number of pages14
Journalinternational journal of heritage studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • cultural heritage
  • Sami
  • governance


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