Colonial Conflicts: Absence, Inclusion and Indigenization in Textbook Presentations of Indigenous Peoples
Torjer Andreas Olsen [+]
PhD in religious studies
In grand narratives, stories about minority peoples and religions have a tendency to be overlooked or told with a certain bias. This article looks into Norwegian textbook presentations of colonization and conflicts related to the Sami, the Indigenous peoples of northern Finno-Scandinavia. In particular, I will analyze presentations of the Christianization process in the 18th century and the so-called Kautokeino rebellion of 1852. In both of these cases, the relationship between majority, state and church on one side and ethnic and religious minority on the other side is an issue. The Christianization process was part of an explicit colonization in which the state set out to convert the Sami into both Norwegians and Christians. The Kautokeino rebellion has an almost mythical status. Here, a group of Sami Christians brutally attacked representatives of the local authorities. Two were killed in an act of violence. In Sami history, this incident is, however, something more than a story about violence.