The Sámi national assembly held in Trondhjem in 1917 is considered to be the very first organized political opposition from the Norwegian Sámi. However, among the 150 persons attending, only three Sámi were from Northern Norway – an area where 90% of the Sámi population lived. The participants were Sámi from the southern parts of Norway, all involved in reindeer herding, which was the main topic to be discussed at the meeting. The Norwegian authorities were about to make a new law on reindeer herding, and the southern Sámi organized the meeting to voice their interests – a meeting which was supported and partly financed by the government.
At the same time, a strong Sámi political movement had been established in the north. Two large meetings were held in 1919 and 1920, but without any official attendance or financial support. They presented themselves as indigenous and stressed their «fight for survival». They insisted that the ongoing Norwegian assimilation policy had to end and the Sámi language should be accepted and taught in school. Thus, the northern Sámi saw fewer interests in the political agenda of their southern brethren, which were centred around reindeer herding legalities. The authorities, on their side, saw no interest at all in supporting the ethnopolitical claims from the north.
The 2005 publication of a three-volume history of the Trøndelag region ignited a heated debate. Representatives of the indigenous Saami population claimed the editors and authors had omitted the Saamis from the history of the region. This debate was again revived in spring 2017 during the centenary of the first congress of the Saami people in Trondheim 1917. The editor’s reply was that the Saamis indeed had been included, to the degree the historical sources allowed. Using methods of discourse analysis, the article reviews this debate and discusses to which degree, in what way and in which contexts the Saami people are included in the text of Trøndelags historie, and thus integrated in the text’s concept of regional identity. Although differences are to be found between the three volumes and eleven authors, the article argues that the fundamental limitation of the depiction of the Saamis in the text as a whole is not a question of sources. Rather it is a question of the narrative and rhetorical structure of the text, and by extension: of the ideologies of the discourse of the historical community.
In 2014, the parish pastor Hans Jacob Grøgaard (1764–1836), a trueborn son of the European Age of Enlightenment, was celebrated as one of the 112 members of the Eidsvoll Assembly that drew up the Norwegian Constitution in 1814. But he became even more famous as an educator. Grøgaard was the author of two well-known and widely used schoolbooks: an ABC, published in 1815, and a reader, published in 1816. The books were based on the daily life of children, emphasizing understanding more than verbal expression. In this article, his educational ideas are analyzed in a German–Danish–Norwegian as well as a regional context. The article emphasizes the influence that he may have gained during his academic years in Copenhagen 1781–84, and while he served as an auxiliary priest in Zealand 1796–97. In order to understand the regional context that Grøgaard worked within, the school system and the educational situation in Southern Norway around 1800 is also analyzed. Furthermore, the article discusses his ideas on how to improve the education of children, as well as how his schoolbooks were received and evaluated.
The consequences of Haugianism – the impact of the early followers of the Christian reformer and preacher Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771–1824) – have been well documented, not only for the Norwegian church and for Christian life, but also for entrepreneurship and economic development. The question discussed in this article is whether these consequences were followed up later, from the middle of the 19th century onwards. The geographic focus is coastal Norway, where the low church lay movement was particularly strong and where there was an impressive economic modernization of the fisheries including the rapid transition into mechanized fishing. Despite clear differences between the early Hauge followers and the later movement, the conclusion is that there was a quite strong continuity, both in «theory», theological thinking and ethics, and also in industrial practice and economic behaviour. The early followers of Hauge, at least those who stood out as entrepreneurs, no doubt had a more conscious calling than the «coastal Pietists» of the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. However, we also find factors which count in favour of the latter. The Christian lay movement had a much broader appeal than the early Hauge followers. To a large extent, this lay movement constituted a framework for both everyday coastal life and Holy Days, not only in the life of those who were active in the movement, but also for the whole coastal community.