Sámi rights and sustainability in early childhood education and care
Sustainability in everyday practices in Norwegian kindergartens
The aim of this qualitative study is to explore how everyday practices in Sámi early childhood education and care institutions (ECECs) in Norway promotes values, attitudes and practices for more sustainable Sámi communities. Referring to laws and regulations and supported by a socio-cultural perspective on learning, the chapter points out how protecting nature and sustainability appears to be the overarching pedagogical perspective in Sámi ECECs. Using a stepwise-deductive induction strategy, three main categories appeared to show how this is being conducted in practice: (1) myths and narration, (2) traditional knowledge passed from one generation to the next and (3) Sámi markers. In this socio-cultural learning process, it appears to be essential for the staff to mediate sustainable ways of living by passing on knowledge of how humans and the ecosystem are linked. ECECs have a clear role in preparing current and future citizens and in aiding societies to make the necessary transitions to sustainability. The authors claim that Sámi perspectives and the way Sámi ECECs promote sustainability through a holistic perspective that pervades their practical and daily activities can be used as a pedagogical inspiration to other Norwegian and international ECECs.