The Delegation of the Sámi Parliament in Finland to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)
Tuomas Aslak Juuso, the Second Vice President of the Sámi Parliament in Finland, and the representatives of the Sámi Parliament’s Youth Council participate in the UN’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York on April 16-22, 2018. The 17th session of the Forum takes place at the UN Headquarters on April 16-27, 2018. The theme of the Forums is “Indigenous Peoples’ Collective Rights to Lands, Territories and Resources”.
The Second Vice President, Tuomas Aslak Juuso, and the following members of the Youth Council participated in the Permanent Forum; Risten Mustonen, Anni Saara Aikio, Anni-Sofia Löf, Maria Mäkinen and Sunna Aikio. In addition, the Sámi Parliaments in Norway and Sweden and numerous Sámi associations from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia are also present in the Forum.
This year the plenary sessions organized during the first week are all open meetings. The meetings organized in second week are all closed. Representatives of indigenous peoples traditionally organize multiple side events during the Permanent Forum. The purpose of these events is to draw attention and share information on current themes concerning indigenous peoples.
In cooperation with other actors, the Sámi Parliament in Finland organized a side event “Truth and Reconciliation Commissions – Sami Story Telling and Healing in Finland” on April 16th. The event was chaired by Eduardo Gonzales, adviser to several truth-seeking processes led by indigenous peoples. In the event, among other topics, the participants shared information on current states of the truth and reconciliation processes in Norway, Finland and Sweden.
In cooperation with various other actors, the Youth Council organized another side event on April 18th. The topic of the event was the Arctic Railway project. The representatives of the Sámi youth highlighted the impacts that the possible railway would have on their future and their chances in practicing traditional livelihoods. In addition, the youth pointed out the project’s psychological effects to their well being. The representatives of the Sámi youth stated that they collectively oppose the Arctic Railway project.
In the photograph above: Representatives of the Youth Council – Anni-Sofia Löf, Anni Saara Aikio, Risten Mustonen, Sunna Aikio and Maria Mäkinen.
Second Vice President of the Sámi Parliament Tuomas Aslak Juuso, tel. +358 40 187 1331, tuomas.juuso(at)samediggi.fi
The Chair of the Sámi Parliament’s Youth Council Risten Mustonen, risten.mustonen(at)gmail.com