In my research, I study how the Swedish heritage system meets the needs of the indigenous people of Sweden, the Sámi. I am interested in if and how national and international policies for indigenous heritage are implemented in the daily work of archaeologists and curators.
Despite being pushed back geographically, Sámi still dispose of about 50% of the area of Sweden for the grazing of their reindeer, which means their historical and cultural landscape is vast, and their archaeological and historical remains are spread out over a large area. When contract archaeology enters these areas, do the archaeological companies consider indigenous rights and heritage policies?
Investigating the case of the Swedish region of Jämtland and drawing on interviews with actors within the Swedish heritage system, I study what happens when policy meets practice. My results so far, show that legislation, money and everyday reality get in the way of indigenous influence. These research results also suggest that there are ways of improving the heritage process.