Edited by Kosmas X. Smyrnios, Panikkos Z. Poutziouris and Sanjay Goel
Chapter 25: The push–pull of Indigenous Sámi family reindeer herding enterprises: a metaphor for sustainable entrepreneurship
In Norway, the Sámi comprise 96 per cent of the population of Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino, 94 per cent of Kárá_johka/Karasjok, 75 per cent of Unjárga/Nesseby, and 53 per cent of Deatnu/Tana. A Salish chief referred to Indigenous peoples as the Fourth World (Manuel and Posluns, 1974). According to Paine (1984), Fourth World refers to ‘(a) ethnicity within a minority context, but (b) a minority context different from that of immigrant groups’ (p. 213). Paine (1985) emphasized that these peoples were once free, but disqualified by foreign forces of nationalism. Although reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) herding has traditionally been central to the entrepreneurship sector of Norway’s Indigenous people, recent changes have transformed this occupation. In former times, a herder had approximately 250 reindeer. A greater number of animals meant more wealth and power. The reindeer were useful throughout their lives, and when harvested every part was used; there was no waste. Technological changes transformed this sector; the snowmobile and the helicopter facilitated herding, and in theory it became easier to manage more animals than ever before, but this gave rise to a cash society. Increasing state intervention has been complicating matters, applying food industry norms to the handling of animals and their meat. Mainstream business strategy attempts to view herding as an industry. This sector, however, is more successful when animals are not managed in farms, but when man follows the herd in a natural setting.
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