Paikallisten elämäntyylit, alkuperäiskansojen kulttuurit? Kulttuuri ja sen kestävyydet arktisten valtioiden strategioissa
Contrary to mainstream political and academic debates, the cultural dimensions of sustainability and sustainable
development have been prominent in political cooperation in the Arctic region already for decades
under the auspices of the Arctic Council and its predecessor, the AEPS. This article takes an explicit focus on
the contemporary articulations and understandings of culture and the cultural components of sustainability
in the context of the Arctic region through an empirical analysis of the Arctic strategies of the eight Arctic
Council member states – Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Denmark, Iceland, Canada, and the United States.
Our analysis of the eight Arctic strategies draws attention to four key themes structuring the discussion
on culture in the context of the contemporary Arctic. We address the questions of 1) whose culture(s) are
discussed; 2) which factors or developments are seen to form a threat to sustainability of these cultures; 3)
why these cultures should be sustained and maintained; and 4) who maintains and sustains them and how.
The empirical analysis reveals a significant bias towards focusing on indigenous cultures and their sustainability
as well as the instrumental role assigned to culture as potentially bringing administrative, economic
and reputational gains for the Arctic states. Meanwhile, for non-indigenous residents, there is no culture to
be sustained, but new lifestyles brought on by large-scale economic development to be embraced instead.