Clements Center Monthly Talks

Sami Lakomäki

Allies, Subjects, Others?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014  |  Simmons Hall, 3101 University Boulevard #144   |  12:30 to 1:30 pm



In the mid-eighteenth century, two new borders were drawn at the eastern and western extremes of the Atlantic World to define relationships between Native peoples and expanding state societies. In the east, the kingdoms of Sweden and Denmark-Norway divided the Scandinavian Peninsula at the Treaty of Strömstad in 1751. In the west, the Royal Proclamation, given by the British government in 1763, sought to end a decade of violent land disputes between Natives and colonists by dividing North America along the Appalachian Mountains into Indian country and British territory.  Situating the two borders in a broader historical and international context, Visiting Clements Center Fellow Sami Lakomäki will discuss these key sites of debate in longer local and Atlantic conversations about Native-state relations and the place of Indigenous peoples in imperial spatial imaginations. 

In addition, he explores how Native Americans and Sámis conceptualized, adopted, and manipulated the 1751 and 1763 borders to impose their own visions of community, sovereignty, and territory on the landscape. Taking such a comparative view, Lakomäki argues, helps to throw into starker relief both broad patterns and local variations in the global history of colonialism, state-building, and Indigenous-state interaction. 

Sami Lakomäki is an Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher and Cultural Anthropologist at the University of Oulu, Finland.  He was a Clements Center Research Fellow in 2010-11 and has returned this semester to work on his current manuscript.  

Image: Copper etching (1767) by O.H. von Lode depicting a a Sámi shaman with his magic drum (meavrresgárri).