Ministry of Education and Culture publications: Needs of the Sámi people for intellectual property protection from the viewpoint of copyright and trademarks

Ministry of Education and Culture, publications (11.12.2018): Needs of the Sámi people for intellectual property protection from the viewpoint of copyright and trademarks – especially with regard to duodji-handicrafts and the Sámi dresses.

The right of indigenous peoples to their own culture has been a topic of international discourse for numerous years. The issue applies to the actual possibility to maintain and develop their cultural heritage as well as to the exclusive right to determine how and who can use traditional cultural expressions.

A legal conflict concerning cultural rights can emerge, for example, when a third party uses traditional cultural expressions in a manner that offends the community’s internal rules or experience. Unpermitted use can dilute the semantic content of cultural expressions as well as their appeal and authenticity, i.e. intellectual capital, and can, thus, also prevent the implementation of human and fundamental rights related to culture.

This study aims, for its part, to map out the middle ground that falls between these collective needs and existing legal instruments. In particular, an effort has been made to examine to which extent intellectual property systems, in particular copyrights and trademarks are already used or could be used to protect the Sámi traditional culture, and, on the other hand, the extent to which the current system does not recognise the needs and special characteristics that the protection of the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples requires.

The study aims to provide information both to IP specialists on the issue of traditional cultural expressions and to indigenous peoples and local communities on intellectual property matters.

Happy Independence Day Finland!

Buori Suoma iehčanasvuođabeaivvi!

Šiev Suomâ jiečânâsvuođâpeivi!

Šiõǥǥ Lääʹddjânnam jiõččnažvuõttpeeiʹv!

Hyvää Suomen itsenäisyyspäivää!

Happy Independence Day Finland!

The Sámi Parliament’s Secretariat is Closed 24.10.2018

The Sámi Parliament’s secretariat is closed 24.10.2018.

Welcoming speech by President Sanila-Aikio at the Arctic Environment Ministers’ meeting in Rovaniemi

Welcoming speech by the President of the Sámi Parliament in Finland Tiina Sanila-Aikio at the Arctic Environment Ministers’ meeting (AEMM) in Rovaniemi, 11 October, 2018.



Ladies and Gentlemen, brothers and sisters,

It is an honor and privilege for me to welcome you, on behalf of the Sámi Parliament in Finland to the Arctic Environment Ministers’ Meeting – Exploring Common Solutions for the Arctic Environment.

Exploring and finding common solutions for the Arctic Environment should be priority for all of us. I believe the key for this is a cooperation between everyone – decision makers, indigenous peoples, scientists, researchers and the civil society.

I am delighted to welcome all the distinguished participants. You have travelled from the different regions to be present at this important meeting. I wish to extend my appreciation to the Government of Finland for the efforts to further develop the cooperation for promoting the well-being of the Arctic.

In addressing, planning and implementing common goals, it is important to clearly establish an effective cooperation. Cooperation between the Sámi Parliament and the ministry of the Environment in international environmental negotiations is crucial to achieve common goals. The Sámi Parliament participates in the preparations for the conferences and is part of the delegation of Finland, where the representative of the Sámi Parliament and the ministry of the Environment work together to achieve the best solutions for the Sámi and the environment.

Finally, it is particularly important to know and establish constructive relationships at regional level. Exchange of experience, methodologies and good practice at this level is very useful. Regional meetings and cooperation of different Arctic actors have provided important opportunities to develop capacity and skills and to explore common solutions of our home, the Arctic.

I want to remind us of the principles of full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and appropriate funding to strengthen the participation of indigenous peoples and their institutions in the Arctic cooperation. In addition, capacity-building is important for mutual learning for both indigenous peoples and the Arctic states to respond to our common challenges.

Participation in this important meeting thus carries an important responsibility. Mother Earth needs our attention.

Thank you.


Follow the events online

To follow the Arctic Environment Week in Rovaniemi on Twitter use:

Links to live webcasts and more information at


For more information

President, the Sámi Parliament in Finland, Tiina Sanila Aikio, tiina.sanila-aikio(at), +358 50 300 1780

Keynote speech by President Sanila-Aikio at the Arctic Biodiversity Congress in Rovaniemi

Keynote speech by President of Sámi Parliament in Finland Tiina Sanila-Aikio at the Arctic Biodiversity Congress in Rovaniemi, 9 October, 2018.

His Excellency Mr. President,


Ladies and Gentlemen, brothers and sisters,

It is a great honor for me to be addressing you today at this important event, the Arctic Biodiversity Congress 2018. We are gathered here today because we share a common threat and commitment to the wellbeing of our home, the Arctic.

Yesterday was an alarming day for the world. After years of research, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a special report on the impact of global warming of 1.5C. Report is the most extensive warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures and it underlines that this is the final call. Keeping to the preferred target of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels will mean “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”. Concerning point of the report are the differences of impacts between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees.

Looking at the state of the world around us, the situation is deeply concerning. While the entire world as we know, is under threat, the Arctic is especially vulnerable. According to the report, warming greater than the global annual average is being experienced in many land regions, including two to three times higher in the Arctic. There is high confidence that the probability of a sea-ice-free Arctic Ocean during summer is substantially lower at global warming of 1.5 degrees when compared to 2 degrees. With 1.5 degrees of global warming, one sea ice-free Arctic summer is projected per century.

In addition, report identifies those populations that at higher risk of adverse consequences of global warming of 1.5 degrees and beyond, including disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, for instance indigenous peoples. High-risk regions include Arctic, dryland regions, small-island developing states, and least developed countries. Furthermore, report illustrates the implications of global warming for people, economies, and ecosystems. Unique and threatened systems, such as coral reefs, the Arctic and its indigenous people, mountain glaciers, and biodiversity hotspots are in very high risks of severe impacts.

There is ample evidence that climate change affects biodiversity. Climate change is already forcing biodiversity to adapt. There is no question the continued loss of biodiversity and climate change undermine human well-being. Everyone will suffer the consequences, but mainly those who have contributed the less, for example indigenous peoples. Abandonment of traditional way of life, land use-systems and loss of indigenous knowledge and practices have a significant impact on Indigenous peoples’ lives, cultures, languages, traditional livelihoods and food systems.

I believe we can all unite around well-being of the Arctic environment and embrace this as a core theme of these days here in Rovaniemi. Well-being of the Arctic is the most rational and worthwhile investment in our collective future.

In Rio de Janeiro, in 1992, nations met at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development to seek solutions to issues such as poverty, the growing gap between industrialized and developing countries, and growing environmental, economic and social problems. The objective was to set a course for sustainable development around the world. One of the results of the Conference were two legally binding conventions, Framework Convention on Climate Change and Convention on Biological Diversity.

In 1996, the Arctic Council was established as a forum for promoting cooperation, coordination, and interaction among the Arctic States, with the involvement of the Arctic Indigenous Peoples.

In Paris, in December 2015, global leaders made a commitment to reduce global warming adopting the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. The agreement sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees aiming to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees.

Now, in 2018, we need to do more. There is still a significant gap between the intentions and a real action. We must act now and discuss, recognize and address these gaps before it indeed is too late. Global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss can only be met through cooperation.

We must start making more environmental friendly political choices. To cut the ancient forest of the Arctic for bioenergy or to build a Railway to connect the Arctic sea and rest of Europe to transport natural resources, even oil, of the Arctic are not environmental friendly choices. We need our forests to store carbon, maintain biodiversity and for the traditional livelihoods of the Sámi. We don’t need a railway to cut through our forests and territories that benefits of the warming Arctic.

Traditional lands of indigenous peoples´ guard over 80 per cent of the planet’s biodiversity and indigenous peoples are effective stewards of these areas. These areas are a vital strategy for tackling climate change. In short, if we are to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and maintain biodiversity, we must recognize, advance and safeguard the rights of indigenous peoples to govern their lands and waters. Conserving natural terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems and restoring degraded ecosystems is essential for the overall goals of national, regional and international politics of climate change and biodiversity.

The traditional knowledge of biodiversity of the Sámi forms an integral part of our cultural heritage, traditional livelihoods and languages. Preserving such traditional knowledge must not lead to its exploitation against the will of the Sámi and traditional knowledge must be maintained within the Sámi community. Traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples has emerged as an essential resource, alongside western science, to inform environmental decision-making in national and global intergovernmental processes. The only way traditional knowledge of Indigenous Peoples’ can be used correctly in decision making is to include the traditional knowledge holders into decision-making processes.

The Finnish Working Group on Article 8(j) has defined the essential content of the traditional knowledge protected by the Convention on Biological Diversity and its article 8(j):

The biodiversity-related traditional knowledge of the Sami manifests itself in the traditional use of nature by the Sami and in the Sami livelihoods based on nature, i.e. reindeer husbandry, fishing, hunting, gathering and handicrafts – as well as the Sami people’s relationship with nature. The knowledge is communicated through the terminology in the Sami language pertaining to nature, the terrain, the weather, reindeer husbandry, handicrafts as well as hunting and fishing, in addition to the Sami place names. Traditional knowledge is transmitted by means of conscious teaching, the example presented by the older generations, yoik singing and oral traditions as well as through the practices of reindeer husbandry, fishing, hunting, gathering and handicrafts.

Biodiversity issues need to receive much higher priority in policy making and development planning at every level. Cross-border collaboration and cooperation with Indigenous Peoples like the Arctic Council is essential, given that biodiversity challenges recognize no national and other boundaries.

I look forward to discussing here today new ideas and solutions for the Arctic. We know what we need to do and there is no reason to not act now.

Thank you.


Follow the events online

To follow the Arctic Environment Week in Rovaniemi on Twitter use:

Links to live webcasts and more information at


For more information

President, the Sámi Parliament in Finland, Tiina Sanila Aikio, tiina.sanila-aikio(at), +358 50 300 1780

Saamelaiskäräjien kulttuuriavustusten hakeminen 2019

Saamelaiskäräjät julistaa Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriön mom. 29.80.52 (saamelainen kulttuurimääräraha) saamenkielisen kulttuurin edistämiseen ja saamelaisjärjestöjen toimintaan osoitetusta määrärahasta vuodelle 2020 myönnettävät avustukset haettaviksi. Avustushakemukset on osoitettava Saamelaiskäräjille viimeistään 31. lokakuuta 2018 klo 16.15 mennessä osoitteella: tai Saamelaiskäräjät, Sajos, 99870 Inari. Hakulomakkeita ja lisätietoja saa kulttuurisihteeriltä puh. 010 839 3103 ja sähköpostitse riitta.orti-berg(at)

Hakulomakkeet ovat myös tulostettavissa Saamelaiskäräjien verkkosivuilta osoitteesta Avustushakemukset voi toimittaa henkilökohtaisesti tai asiamiestä käyttäen, lähettää sähköpostitse tai postitse. Avustushakemusten lähettäminen tapahtuu lähettäjän vastuulla.


Kuva:Anja Vest


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Tekniset ohjeet

Yhdistyksen toiminta-avustus / projektiavustus




Opening speech by President Sanila-Aikio at the Arctic Parliamentary Conference in Inari

Opening speech by President of Sámi Parliament in Finland Tiina Sanila-Aikio at the 13th Arctic Parliamentary Conference in Inari, 17 September, 2018.

Pueʹtted tiõrvân Aanra, Sääʹmjânnma!

Pyereest puáttim Anarân, Sáámán!

Bures boahtin Anárii, Sápmái!

It was in three local Sámi languages Welcome to Inari, Sámiland!

Indigenous brothers and sisters, excellencies,

we Sámi, the only indigenous people in the European Union area, live in four different countries; Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden. There are around 100 000 Sámis altogether. 10 500 of us lives in Finland. The Sámi homeland area is the northern most part of Finland including 3,5 municipalities Utsjoki, Inari, Enontekiö and the Lappi reindeer herding district in Sodankylä municipality area. We have three different Sámi languages spoken in Finland; Inari Sámi, Skolt Sámi and North Sámi languages. Inari is the only municipality where all the three Sámi language groups are situated, other municipalities are traditional territories to North Sámi speakers.

I’m very happy to have you all here in Sámi cultural center Sajos which is also the parliament house of Sámi Parliament in Finland. You might know that there are Sámi Parliaments also in Norway and Sweden. My colleques president Aili Keskitalo and president Per-Olof Nutti are also present in this conference. The three Sámi Parliaments have established Sámi Parliamentary Council together with two Sámi NGOs from Russia. At the moment Sámi Parliament in Sweden is having the chairmanship of the Sámi Parliamentary Council.

Language diversity is as important than biological diversity. Language is the mirrow of the culture. Language is the philosophy of existence of the people. Language describes our values. Especially the languages of the indigenous peoples contain traditional knowledge. Many of our indigenous languages are endangered in the Arctic. Many of the Sámi languages among them.

I want to remind that the 2019 will be the international year of the Indigenous languages. The Sámi parliamentary council wishes that also Arctic council’s member states as well as the permanent participants and observers would join us celebrating our indigenous languages.

Secondly I want to address you that nature needs its protectors more than ever before.

We are especially worried on the ongoing gold rush to the Arctic and its resources. Due to climate change, economical and military interest the role of the Arctic council has increased. The biggest threat to all Arctic indigenous peoples is climate change and its influences. The Arctic is our home, our identity and our land. Well-being of the Arctic is well being of the Sámi People.

It appears often that the Sámi and other Arctic indigenous people oppose economic development, mining and other extractive industries. This is not the whole truth. What we do is to protect our environment, culture, traditional livelihoods and traditional knowledge. Our rights over lands and resources are the an indispensable and essential conditions for our long-term well-being and a prerequisite for us to be able to continue to exist as a distinct people.

“Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is one of the most important principles that guarantee our right to participation. It is embedded in the right to self-determination and should be obtained when approving any project affecting our lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.

Sámi parliamentary council wants you to know that the Arctic railway project threatens the Sámi people both in Finland and Norway. In Finland the planned railway from Rovaniemi to Kirkenes Norway will pierce the heart territories of the all three Sámi language groups spoken in Finland.

It’s not only the railway but what will come with it. Or should I say what will be transported away from our lands. It’s planned to be built for oil and gas industry, mining and forest logging industry, Arctic corridor transportation and tourism. All these I mentioned will accelerate the climate change. At the same time our economies or our development are not even seen behind the gold rush.

We have already seen several protests against the railway. Especially Sámi fishermen and reindeer herders are saying this has been very brutal project from the beginning runned by Finland. Sámi parliamentary Council demands that there should be proper impact assessment which will study economical, ecological, cultural and social impacts to the Sámi people, Sámi culture and environment. As well as the free, prior and informed consent of the Sámi communities railway will affect.

I would like to close with a sentence ”Nothing about us without us.” I think that describes very well the sustainable development goals through the eyes of the indigenous peoples. The main thing to be recognised is that the indigenous peoples should be involved when handling issues concerning them.

I wish you all a nice stay in our territories and a successful conference!

In the photo: Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini held his speech also at the beginning of the conference. In his speech he looked at Finland’s ongoing Arctic Chairmanship.

For more information

President, the Sámi Parliament in Finland, Tiina Sanila Aikio, tiina.sanila-aikio(at), +358 50 300 1780

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, 9 August

August 9 is commemorated as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples in recognition of the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva in 1982.

Each year this day is celebrated around the world. The day is also one of the twelve flag flying days the Sámi have. Year 2018 the theme is Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement.

Read more:

On Twitter, follow #WeAreIndigenous#IndigenousDay#IndigenousPeoplesDay

Ijahis Idja Festival Celebrates 15 Years – Program Now Published

The Indigenous People’s Music Festival, Ijahis Idja, has published its program.  The festival will be held in Inari/Anár for the 15th time. As in previous years, the program is again vast and versatile. Besides music there will be also conversation arena, Sámi sport competition and program for the youngsters.

The event begins on Friday 17th of August with kids and youth program. During the day, the participants who have registered beforehand will take part in workshops and watch Sámi films. They also get to show their own talent in Ijahis íja násttážat youth concert. Also, Solju band will perform in Ijahis íja násttážat concert.

Festival opening ceremony starts at 18.00 on Friday. Nils-Heikki Paltto and Indigenous Bastards will perform in the opening program. After that a super-fast lasso sprint will be held outdoors in the festival area. Furthermore, Anára Sámisearvi, the main organizer of Ijahis idja, will celebrate its 35 anniversary on the main stage.

The outdoor concerts on the main stage in Friday evening will surely offer something for everyone when Solju band, the Norwegian popstar Kevin Boine and the Canadian DJ-collective A Tribe Called Red perform for the audience. It will be a night to remember.

Saturday begins with a music seminar which will be in Sámi museum Siida. The topic of the anniversary seminar is Ijahis idja itself.  How the festival came to be as we know it today and what it means to the Sámi music scene and artists? The panel discussion is led by Aslak Paltto.

The day continues with Yle Sápmi Arena, which is produced by Yle Sápmi. It’s a discussion arena with hot topics of the day and it will be held in all Sámi languages spoken in Finland. The arena will be held on the festival area, outside of Sajos.

Evening continues with a concert called “Luohti ja Suõmmkar” in the auditorium of Sajos. Traditional yoik artists Berit Alette Mienna, Ingá Elisá Påve Idivuoma, Hildá Länsman and Iŋgá-Máret Gaup-Juuso will perform. In addition to that, Skolt Sámi group Suõmmkar will release their debut album. Auditorium concerts have grown very popular year after year and they attract people to enjoy Sámi music in intimate surroundings.

Evening outdoor concerts begin with a concert by Vildá. A duo that consists of Hildá Länsman ja Viivi Saarenkylä. After them on stage will be Felgen Orkester, Amoc & Ailu Valle and Trio Boogiemen, Tundra Electro and some yoik artists. Along with concerts there will be sports. A thrilling lasso throwing competition which will settle once and for all who’s the best lasso thrower in Sápmi.

Ijahis Idja 17th to 19th of August 2018, in Inari/Anár.

Ijahis idja is produced by Anára Sámisearvi ry, Sámi Parliament, Saamelaisalueen koulutuskeskus, Sámi museum Siida, Inari municipality, Taiteen edistämiskeskuksen Lapin toimipiste, Yle Sápmi ja Hotelli Kultahovi.

More information:

Sámi Music Center, planer/ producer Oula Guttorm,, +358 50 574 2765

The Sámi Parliament’s Secretariat is Closed July 2-August 3, 2018

The Sámi Parliament’s secretariat is closed July 2-August 3, 2018.

The Sámi Parliament wishes you all a great summer!