Greenland is a self-declared welfare society. In the present-day political discussions around ind ... Read more
Greenland is a self-declared welfare society. In the present-day political discussions around independence, welfare is, paradoxically, a cornerstone in the political understanding of the country - and at the same time we see a lack of activity concerning new legislation, countrywide welfare strategies or communicated municipal social policies. Greenland is facing severe challenges when it comes to key areas such as cross-sectional efforts in stabilizing the social services concerning children, adolescents and families. We are experiencing a rise in violence against women, poverty and homelessness with an increase in Greenlanders leaving the country in search for better futures in Denmark. Historically, the social political focus was on children - together with widowers and the elderly. They formed the basis need for social services. Well-functioning adults, historically men, were the patriarchs of a society centered around hunting - in a Durkheimian mechanic system, where every member of the community had an important function. The shift from hunting to fishing in the 1910s coincided with a grand municipal plan, designed by the colonial power of Denmark, and called for structured social services. In modern times, the social policies of Greenland have officially been a matter of the Greenlandic people (since the Homerule Act of 1979). However, a more in-depth look at Greenland’s social history reveals a somewhat autonomous decision-making process since 1968. In light of a modern call for social political awareness, this chapter discusses the challenges of implementing Greenlandic social policies with a longitudinal focus.