Digital media–GIFs, films, TED Talks, tweets, and more–have become integral to daily life and, unsurprisingly, to Indigenous people’s strategies for addressing the historical and ongoing effects of colonization. In Sámi Media and Indigenous Agency in the Arctic North, Thomas DuBois and Coppélie Cocq examine how Sámi people of Norway, Finland, and Sweden use media to advance a social, cultural, and political agenda anchored in notions of cultural continuity and self-determination. Beginning in the 1970s, Sámi have used Sámi-language media—including commercially produced musical recordings, feature and documentary films, books of literature and poetry, and magazines—to communicate a sense of identity both within the Sámi community and within broader Nordic and international arenas.
In more contemporary contexts—from YouTube music videos that combine rock and joik (a traditional Sámi musical genre) to Twitter hashtags that publicize protests against mining projects in Sámi lands—Sámi activists, artists, and cultural workers have used the media to undo layers of ignorance surrounding Sámi livelihoods and rights to self-determination. Downloadable songs, music festivals, films, videos, social media posts, images, and tweets are just some of the diverse media through which Sámi activists transform how Nordic majority populations view and understand Sámi minority communities and, more globally, how modern states regard and treat Indigenous populations.
DuBois and Cocq provide a comprehensive study of Sámi expressive media, utilizing a fresh approach that should attract students of other Indigenous cultures as well as global popular culture.
Pamela Wilson, professor of Communication and Media Studies, Reinhardt University
One of the most insightful, carefully constructed, and useful books ever written on Indigenous political and socio-cultural affairs, which should find a broad and diverse audience.
Kenneth S. Coates, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan