Indigenous Peoples’ Self-determination and Long-term Care: Sápmi and Nunavut
This paper examines long-term care for the elderly as a point of departure for critically engaging with the debate on the self-determination of Indigenous peoples. By employing the case of the Arctic Indigenous peoples, the Sámi Parliament (Sámediggi) in Norway and Government of Nunavut in Canada, are utilised as central cases from which to explore the institutionalization and self-determination. The thrust of the paper calls for a critical re-investigation of the contingency of long-term care for the elderly in the context of claims of Indigenous sovereignty.
Specifically, I examine the landscape of population ageing and the organisation of care among the Sápmi and Nunavut populations, focusing on colonisation from a circumpolar perspective. The functions and practices of Sámediggi and Government of Nunavut are analysed to illustrate how self-determination is exercised and to what extent they safeguard the rights of elderly people. Sámediggi and Nunavut government as institutional arrangements that mark significant advancements in Indigenous peoples’ reclamation of power and restoration of sovereign rights are discussed. Unfortunately, the political functions that would allow self-determination and self-government to be effective continue to be limited for the Inuit in Nunavut and the Sámi in Sápmi on the Norwegian side.
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