Nav: Home

Extractive industries have negative impacts on Indigenous peoples

February 06, 2017

Extractive industries affect Indigenous peoples in Sweden and Australia, and Indigenous group's perspectives are often ignored or trivialised, according to a PhD thesis from Umeå University in Sweden. Kristina Sehlin MacNeil has collaborated with Indigenous organisations in developing concepts that include Indigenous peoples' perspectives on conflicts and power relations.

The PhD study compares situations for Laevas čearru, a Sami reindeer herding community in northern Sweden and Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners, an Indigenous people in South Australia. Both groups identify various forms of violence caused by extractive activities on their lands as threats to their societies, livelihoods and cultures. Furthermore, the results show that in order to address violence against Indigenous peoples and improve processes of conflict transformation, Indigenous and decolonising perspectives should be heard and taken into account.

"By illuminating asymmetrical conflicts and power relations between Indigenous groups and extractive industries and by highlighting Indigenous peoples' perspectives, a better foundation for inclusive dialogue and conflict transformation can hopefully be achieved," says Kristina Sehlin MacNeil, PhD student at Vaartoe - Centre for Sami Research at Umeå University.

As a part of Umeå University's Industrial Doctoral School, Kristina Sehlin MacNeil, with the mentorship of the Swedish Sami Organisation, Sámiid Riikkasearvi, has also developed methods and analytical tools aimed to make the research more relevant for the communities it concerns. In her study, Sehlin MacNeil has used Indigenous and decolonising methodologies to centre the research participants' perspectives and create space for their voices.

Kristina Sehlin MacNeil has adapted the Violence Triangle, developed by Norwegian peace researcher Johan Galtung, in order to understand the conflicts and power relations. The model includes structural violence (unfair social structures), cultural violence (discriminating attitudes) and direct violence (physical violence).

"As the model didn't allow for the type of violence that the Sami and Aboriginal research participants experience when their lands are destroyed by extractive industries, I introduced the term extractive violence, to replace direct violence. Extractive violence is a concept that illuminates how extractivism impacts Indigenous peoples negatively and how this is often ignored or trivialised," concludes Kristina Sehlin MacNeil.

Kristina Sehlin MacNeil comes from Umeå in northern Sweden and has a background in communications and conflict studies from the University of South Australia in Adelaide. From an early age, she has been interested in conflicts, particularly in conflict transformation, and has worked and studied in the peace and conflict field for a number of years.
-end-
In 2014-15 Sehlin MacNeil was a Visiting Scholar at University of South Australia's David Unaipon College of Indigenous Education and Research. There she worked together with Adnyamathanha Traditional Owners in exploring Adnyamathanha people's resistance to proposed nuclear waste dumps on Adnyamathanha land. After completing her PhD at Umeå University this February, Sehlin MacNeil aims to continue researching conflicts and power relations between Indigenous groups and extractive industries.

Umeå University, located in the north of Sweden, is characterised by strong research conducted in a vast number of fields, and many of our researchers belong to the global elite in for instance global health, epidemiology, molecular biology, ecology, plant physiology and Arctic research. Umeå University is one of Sweden's largest teaching universities that offers a wide-spanning and attractive selection of courses and programmes, and stimulating environments for working and studying for the over 4,300 employees and 31,000 students. It was from Umeå University that the work in discovering the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 was led.

Umea University

Related Violence Articles:

The front line of environmental violence
Environmental defenders on the front line of natural resource conflict are being killed at an alarming rate, according to a University of Queensland study.
What can trigger violence in postcolonial Africa?
Why do civil wars and coups d'état occur more frequently in some sub-Saharan African countries than others.
Another victim of violence: Trust in those who mean no harm
Exposure to violence does not change the ability to learn who is likely to do harm, but it does damage the ability to place trust in 'good people,' psychologists at Yale and University of Oxford report April 26 in the journal Nature Communications
Victims of gun violence tell their stories: Everyday violence, 'feelings of hopelessness'
Invited to share their personal stories, victims of urban gun violence describe living with violence as a 'common everyday experience' and feeling abandoned by police and other societal institutions, reports a study in the November/December Journal of Trauma Nursing, official publication of the Society of Trauma Nurses.
Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.
More Violence News and Violence Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...