Since Thursday morning several young Sámi activists have occupied the lobby of the ministry of petroleum and energy to Norway, demanding that the ongoing human rights violations against the Fovsen-Njaarke Sámi reindeer herders must come to an end. They have announced a large-scale demonstration on Monday and have promised support from across the country and the world. Greta Thunberg is now on her way to Oslo, Norway to support the demonstrations.
The demonstrations began on Thursday morning 23. February, marking the 500th day since the Supreme Court ruling regarding the Fosen-verdict fell. The young Sámi activists are demonstrating to push the government to take action to end the human rights violations against the Sámi people. They demand that the wind turbines on Fosen get torn down and for the land to be returned to the reindeer herders. After occupying the lobby for over four days the activists are preparing an even bigger demonstration early on Monday morning.
- The ministry has tried to smoke us out by denying us food and medicines, as well as isolating us from press and employees of the state, but we are still here. They had hoped this auction would die down on its own. However, it has only been growing. This is no longer an occupation but a movement, says activist Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen.
On Sunday the activists could confirm that the worlds most known climate activist will join the demonstrations. She has been involved in issues regarding the indigenous people in the past as well. She has among many other things, used her platform to speak for the planned mine tailings in Repparfjord, Norway and demonstrated against the planned mine industry in Gállok, Sweden.
- It has been overwhelming to see the continuous support from Norway, Sápmi and now the rest of the world. It has given us strength to keep going day after day. Tonight, we will get a visit from the president of the Sámi Parliament, and tomorrow Greta Thunberg herself will join us in the protests. From now on, all eyes will be turned to Norway, thus the Norwegian state/government can no longer violate our human rights in peace, says activist Elle Rávdná Näkkäläjärvi.
The Sami People
- The Sami People are indigenous people who have their traditional settlement areas in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.
- It is assumed that there are 40-60,000 Sami living in Norway. The majority live in what is considered the traditional Sami settlement area in central and northern Norway.
- Like other indigenous peoples, the Sami’s traditional culture, heritage and livelihood practices are closely linked to nature and are important carriers of language and culture. Fishing, hunting, trapping, gathering, crafts and reindeer husbandry central is to Sami tradition.
- There are traditionally eleven Sami languages.
The Fosen conflict
- Fosen is an area in the middle of Norway where reindeer herders have their animals grazing in the winter.
- The Supreme court ruled 11th of October 2021 that the wind turbines and resulting construction area around, violates the UNs convention about civil and political rights article 27. When there are ruled ongoing human rights violations, states are obliged to both stop and repair the damage.
- No specific action or measures are executed by the government since the judgement.
Photos (by Rasmus Madsen Berg):
Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen: https://www.flickr.com/photos/naturogungdom/52706444603/in/album-72177720306224978/
Elle Rávdná Näkkäläjärvi: https://www.flickr.com/photos/naturogungdom/52706290724/in/album-72177720306224978/
From the action 2:https://www.flickr.com/photos/naturogungdom/52711569177/