The Saami (Sámi), one of the world´s many indigenous populations, live in the Sápmi region, known in English as Lapland, in Northern Europe (Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia). The total Sámi population is today around two million (2.000.000). In the Nordic countries, the Sámi population have their own parliaments. The Saami Council, a non-governmental umbrella organization, is based on Saami organizations. (SÁMIRÁDDI).
Although not acknowledged as a national language e.g. in Finland, the Saami population have the right to self-determination, including the right to determine their own economic and social development. (Saami Council). How can this be secured in (a) geographical region(s) belonging to various states, with a changing climate, and with a legislation that does not necessarily take into consideration the cultural heritage and old traditions of the Saami population. This is a question concerning Saami ´s in Finland and Norway in terms of a new restrictive legislation concerning fishing in Tenojoki (river Tana), expected to enter into force if and when the Finnish Parliament accepts it. According to YLE reporting about this new bilateral agreement, it could be a violation of the Saami people´s human rights. As a permanent participant in the Arctic Council, the Saami Council certainly has a strong foothold in the Arctic region, and in questions concerning the Arctic region.
Learn more about life in the Arctic in a changing climate by watching Thin Ice´s video “The Changing Arctic – Life in the Arctic – Sami view”:
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