This thesis presents the optimistic narrative produced at Vega, a small island community in North-Norway. Vega is one of Norway’s seven UNESCO world heritage sites. However, like many other small rural communities in North-Norway, the island municipality of Vega is experiencing severe economic stress. Furthermore, the municipality’s population has decreased continuously since the 1950s and is today at a historically low level. Nonetheless, the narrative produced at Vega is of an optimistic character. The thesis analyzes this narrative production and strives to explain why it is of such an optimistic character. Several aspects could be seen as important for the development of the optimistic Vega narrative. The focus in this thesis is on local participation in the world heritage process. It is thus a partial explanation. However, the high degree of local participation in the world heritage process provides a necessary explanatory factor. Elements from narrative theory, discourse theory and participation theory have been applied in analyses.