The Youth Council will translate the LGBTQ+ vocabulary by Seta into Sámi languages

The next generation of Sámi LGBTQ+ people will grow up with the opportunity to express their identity in words in the Sámi languages.

The Youth Council of the Sámi Parliament will translate the LGBTQ+ vocabulary by Seta, the main LGBTQ+ rights organization in Finland, into the North Sámi, Inari Sámi and Skolt Sámi languages. The translated vocabularies will be published on the information and advice website of the Youth Council. The vocabulary will gather terms and concepts connected with gender and sexual minorities. The main focus will be on diversity of gender and sexual orientation, but the vocabulary will also describe other words and themes broadly associated with the LGBTQ+ society.

– The translation of the vocabulary will be an appropriate follow-up to the dictionary of sexuality which was translated earlier. By translating the vocabulary we can offer Sámi LGBTQ+ people words for defining themselves, and also advance their inclusion in Sámi society and increase awareness of LGBTQ+ issues in the society, Anni-Sofia Niittyvuopio, the chairperson of the Youth Council, states.

Translating and compiling the vocabulary is important for the development of sexual and gender identity among Sámi youth. With help of the vocabulary they will be able to define themselves and communicate with other LGBTQ+ Sámi across state borders. However, the vocabulary will not be able to completely capture the diversity among LGBTQ+ Sámi, as everyone has their own experience of their person and identity. By translating the vocabulary the Youth Council also aims to initiate discussion on the rights and the position of sexual and gender minorities in Sámi society.

The terminological aspects of the translation work will be done in cooperation with Sámi Giellagáldu. Many of the words in the vocabulary already have corresponding Sámi terms standardized by the language divisions of Sámi Giellagáldu. The translation project will compile already existing words in a form that is accessible and easy to use. As regards new terms, workshops for LGBTQ+ Sámi will be organized, and the LGBTQ+ community will thus be engaged in development of new terminology.

Information about the translation of the vocabulary has reached Sámi youth across borders. The Youth Council hopes to collaborate Sámi youth in order to put work with the vocabulary into practice, and possibly also to translate the vocabulary into other Sámi languages as well.

Sápmi Pride was organized in 2017 in Inari/Aanaar. Photo: Ville-Riiko Fofonoff

For further information:

Anni-Sofia Niittyvuopio 
chairperson of the Youth Council of the Sámi parliament
+358 40 7082 072 

Elli-Marja Hetta 
Youth secretary
+358 50 382 5179 / +358 10 839 3134 

UN’s Human Rights Committee to monitor Sámi people’s rights in expedited procedure

On 1 April 2021, the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee issued its findings and recommendations to Finland on the realisation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Committee will monitor the implementation of the recommendations on the rights of the Sámi indigenous people in an expedited procedure.

According to the Committee’s recommendation’s, Finland should speed up the process to revise the Sámi Parliament Act with a view to respecting the Sámi people’s right of self-determination, particularly as regards the definition of a Sámi and the obligation of the authorities to negotiate with the Sámi Parliament. In addition, Finland should review existing legislation, policies and practices that may have an impact on the rights and interests of the Sámi people, including development projects and extracting industries operations. Finland should ensure that meaningful consultation with the Sámi people is realised with the aim of obtaining their free, prior and informed consent.

According to the recommendations, Finland should consider ratifying the ILO  Convention No. 169 and stepping up its efforts to ensure that the government and local officials, police officers, prosecutors and judges have the appropriate training needed to respect the Sámi’s rights as an indigenous people.

Finland must submit a report on the implementation of the recommendations to the Committee by 26 March 2022.

“It is clear that Finland should implement the findings and recommendations issued by the Human Rights Committee, particularly with respect to the revision of the Sámi Parliament Act. In the revision process currently under way, the Sámi Parliament Act should be amended in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” says Tuomas Aslak, President of the Sámi Parliament.

The Committee acknowledges the steps taken by Finland to promote the rights of the Sámi people, including the ongoing establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Committee expresses its concern, however, that the Sámi Parliament Act – particularly with respect to the definition of the eligibility to vote and to the consultation obligation – has still not yet been amended in a way that guarantees the Sámi people’s right of self-determination. On the contrary,the decisions of 5 July 2019 by the Supreme Administrative Court and the Government’s decision not to cancel or postpone the Sámi Parliament elections appear to run counter to the Views adopted by the Committee, the Human Rights Committee finds.

In essence, the Committee thus finds in the reporting procedure that Finland has continued to violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights despite the decision handed down two years ago by the Committee in individual complaints. “It is unacceptable that Finland will not address human rights violations. Finland cannot fall to the level of those countries which pick and choose which human rights are implemented. Rather, human rights must be implemented in full,” Juuso continues.

The Committee is further concerned about reports according to which vague criteria are used to assess the impact of measures. This results in the authorities’ failure to engage in consultations to obtain free, prior and informed consent of the Sámi people. The Committee also notes Finland’s delay in ratifying the ILO Convention No. 169.

The Human Rights Committee is a body of independent experts, which monitors the implementation of the Covenant. Finland’s seventh periodic report was reviewed in a public virtual session on 2–4 March 2021.

The Committee’s findings and recommendations in English (PDF)

Further information:

Tuomas Aslak Juuso, President Tel. +358 (0)40 687 3394, tuomas.juuso(at)

The Sámi Parliamentary Council’s statement on wind power projects in Sámi areas – Projects must obtain a free, prior and informed consent of the Sámi people

The Sámi Parliamentary Council (SPC) convened on 25 January 2021 for a plenary session in which the chairmanship of the Council was transferred from the Sámi Parliament in Finland to the Sámi Parliament in Norway for the next 16 months. The plenary session was organised as a video conference.

The plenary session accepted the annual report of the Finnish chairmanship and discussed the use of wind power in Sámi areas and adopted a statement on this. According to the statement, the SPC demands that the Sámi people must give their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) for wind power projects in the Sámi area. You can read the statement here. The new action plan for Norway’s term as Chair was also adapted. The action plan is available here.

The Sámi Parliament in Finland assumed the chairmanship of the Sámi Parliamentary Council on 19 September 2019, and the Chair of the Sámi Parliament in Finland has been the Chair of SPC since. The Youth Council of the Sámi Parliamentary Council has also been chaired by the Youth Council of Sámi Parliament in Finland.

Covid-19 pandemic affected the chairmanship

The main goals of the chairmanship of the Sámi Parliament in Finland included, inter alia, establishing the operations of Sámi Giellagáldu, the Nordic Resource Centre for Sámi Languages, promotion of the Nordic Sámi Convention and advancement of the process on enhancing the participation of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations.

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020 and the exceptional circumstances that followed had a major impact on the chairmanship as well as SPC’s activities. Due to the exceptional circumstances, all of the Board Meetings of Sámi Parliamentary Council were organized as video conferences with the exception of the first meeting of the Board that took place in Inari in January 2020. As a result of the pandemic, international meetings, conferences, seminars and other events were cancelled, at least in their conventional form since March 2020, so the number of SPC’s international activities remained below their normal level.

The conference of Sámi parliamentarians, originally scheduled for August 2020, was also cancelled due to the outbreak of the pandemic. The Board of the SPC decided that the conference will be organized in August 2021. The conference will be organized in Inari.

The SPC is a parliamentary body for the cooperation of the Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden, and Finland with representatives from Russian Sámi organisations. Representatives from these three Nordic countries and Russia convene for a plenary session at least once a year. The Sámi Parliamentary Council seeks to promote the inter-parliamentary cooperation of the Sámi parliaments in the Nordic countries and it discusses cross-border matters that affect the Sámi as a people. The SPC also often represents the Sámi people living in the Nordic countries in international contexts. 

The representatives of the Sámi Parliamentary Council are appointed in the plenum of the Sámi Parliament, for one parliamentary term at a time. This parliamentary term, the representatives are:

Tuomas Aslak Juuso (deputy Leo Aikio)

Anni Koivisto (deputy Juha-Petteri Alakorva)

Pirita Näkkäläjärvi (deputy Magreta Sara)

Anne Nuorgam (deputy Asko Länsman)

Karen-Anni Hetta (deputy Irja Seurujärvi-Kari)

Tauno Ljetoff (deputy Veikko Feodoroff)

Niko Valkeapää (deputy Ulla-Maarit Magga)

In the Board of The Sámi Parliamentary Council, the Sámi Parliament’s (in Finland) representatives are Tuomas Aslak Juuso (deputy Leo Aikio) and Anni Koivisto (deputy Leo Aikio). Following the collaborative agreement of the SPC, the political heads of the Sámi parliaments must participate in the activities of the Board of the SPC.

Additional information

President Tuomas Aslak Juuso, +358 (0)40 687 3394, tuomas.juuso(at)

Secretary for International Affairs, Inka Saara Arttijeff, +358 (0)50 574 7629, inka-saara.arttijeff(at)

Photo: Ville-Riiko Fofonoff