Coexistence in Mountain Landscapes: A Local Narrative of Hope and Uncertainty

Part of the Springer Polar Sciences book series (SPPS)


The local community of Sulitjelma in Northern Norway is a former mining community facing renewed industrial interest in local mineral resources. In this chapter, a narrative approach is used to examine how people who live in close proximity to the mining area describe their situation. The ‘local narrative’ is contrasted with how commercial mining interests and municipal authorities characterize the potential for renewed mining near the community. Central to the new developments is the decision to allow Lake Langvatnet to remain a waste deposit site for the mining activities, as it is judged to be beyond regeneration. Seen as part of a larger landscape, the continued use of Lake Langvatnet for depositing waste might be viewed as the price for securing some semblance of sustainable development for the local community in a wider landscape context. But the case also shows that local cultural contexts are critical for understanding the developmental scope of mining initiatives. In the case of Sulitjelma the development discourse starts within a context of proud mining traditions, not pristine natural landscapes.


Narrative analysis Post-mining identities Reindeer herding Indigenous people Landscape valuation 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nordland Research InstituteBodøNorway

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