Recognizing geographic and cultural alterity through sport? Institutionalizing the Arctic Games (1967-2004)
The article studies the emergence and growth of the Arctic Games on the basis of a comparison with other attempts of re-appropriation of the Olympic model. How was the autonomist strategy that founds these games born? Beyond the question of access to sporting practices, the goal is to show that this strategy aims at engaging a cultural transformation through a renegotiation of the norms and values which are carried by the dominant Western sports practices. Using documents archived on the official website of the Arctic Games as well as second hand data, the analysis sheds light on the manner in which this sporting event is a part of a strategy fighting for recognition (Honneth 1992). As a vector for cultural pride, it constitutes a call for justice (Rawls 1971) in reaction to the minorisation, or even the contempt, experienced by the populations which are native of Northern Canada.