Young Sámi comic artist, Sunna Kitti, illustrates Principles for Responsible and Ethically Sustainable Sámi Tourism -guidelines. All the new illustrations are now ready and waiting to be published. New material is primarily meant to be used as study material for students in the field of tourism studies and for various sectors and actors in tourism industry and as well as for the tourists arriving to the Sámi Homeland in Finland
By combining illustrations with the text of the ethical guidelines, the Sámi Parliament in Finland wants to raise larger public awareness of the challenges of Sámi tourism. ‘We hope that the visual information clarifies the message of the guidelines and, thus, eases their internalisation and implementation.’ says the project co-ordinator Kirsi Suomi.
First illustrations are now released. The Future We Want -illustration is based on the vision in the ethical guidelines. Following the vision, the traditional livelihoods of the Sámi are viable and profitable. Modern livelihoods such as responsible and ethically sustainable tourism based on Sámi culture support the profitability of traditional livelihoods and promote employment locally.
According to the vision, there will be a Sámi tourism information centre distributing accurate information on the Sámi and Sámi culture to visitors and various interest groups in tourism industry. Furthermore, the centre has information about the responsibly and ethically sustainably operating Sámi tourism entrepreneurs. In the good vision, the everyday lives and festivities of the Sámi community as well as the land use in Sámi Homeland have also been successfully co-ordinated with the needs of tourism while primarily securing and respecting the rights of the Sámi and their culture.
The opposite of the good vision is The Future We Do Not Want. In this illustration, the vision in the ethical guidelines has not taken place. The uncontrolled and constantly increasing numbers of visitors arriving to the Sámi Homeland have caused increasing amounts of challenges that have not been manageable or solved. The traditional livelihoods of the Sámi have been forced to retreat due to tourism. The safeguarding of the cultural practices and traditions of the Sámi not involved in tourism have failed. Instead, the everyday lives and festivities of local communities have ended up as tourist attractions against the wishes of the local people.
‘I hope my illustrations have impact on the way in which tourism industry and tourists react to and treat the Sámi and Sámi culture. Tourism based on incorrect and outdated conception of the Sámi reduces the already-limited space where Sámi can freely practice their own culture without being disturbed. I am worried that the villages [in the north] will become inhabitable for the locals’, says the comic artist Sunna Kitti when explaining why she decided to participate in the project by illustrating the ethical guidelines for Sámi tourism.
On September 24th in 2018, the Plenum of the Sámi Parliament in Finland accepted Principles for Responsible and Ethically Sustainable Sámi Tourism. The main aim of these ethical guidelines is to terminate tourism exploiting Sámi culture as well as erase false information and misrepresentations regarding the Sámi and Sámi culture spreading through tourism. The second aim is to safeguard the cultural practices and traditions of the Sámi not connected to tourism industry. The project has been financed by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Co-ordinator Kirsi Suomi, Culturally Responsible Sámi Tourism, 010 839 3118, kirsi.suomi(at)samediggi.fi