The Sámi Parliament Participates in the International Week for Biological Diversity

The Sámi Parliament in Finland participates in the International Biodiversity Theme Week 18-22 May by publishing a video every day of the week related to biodiversity and Sámi culture. Themes of the week have been applied to Sámi culture, and the aim is to raise issues that are important to Sámi culture in relation to biodiversity and traditional knowledge.

The United Nations proclaimed May 22 as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD). The purpose of the day is to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity and its significance.

This year, Biodiversity Day will extend to a full week. Each day of the week has its own biodiversity theme, linked to the main themes of international biodiversity work. During the week, comprehensive nature communication will take place all around the world.

The themes of the Sámi Parliament for each day of the week are:

Mon 18th: Traditional knowledge and its meaning for biodiversity.

Tue 19th: Biodiversity, protected areas and traditional livelihoods.

Wed 20th: Biodiversity, traditional food, fishing, and food security.

Thu 21st: Biodiversity and culture: handcrafts.

Fri 22th: Actions to prevent biodiversity loss from a Sámi perspective.

You can use tags in social media #BiodiversityDay #Biodiversity #BiologicalDiversity


The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was opened for signature at the United Nations Conference on Environments and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Finland ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994. The objectives of the convention are the conservation of the biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources.

Article 8(j) of the Convention on Biological Diversity obliges Parties to protect indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge relevant to biological diversity. The article requires Parties to respect, protect and maintain, in accordance with their national legislation, the knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous people and local communities relevant for the conservation of biological diversity, and to promote their wider application with the approval of knowledge holders and to encourage equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological diversity.  In Finland, the obligations outlined in the article apply to the Sámi people.

The year 2020 is so-called super year of the biodiversity. During the year, a new global biodiversity framework (post-2020 global biodiversity framework) will be negotiated and a UN Summit on biodiversity will be organised. In addition, a meeting of the parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) was to be held in China, but the conference has been postponed to the next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information

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

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

The process of enhancing the right of indigenous peoples to participate in the United Nations (UN) continues under the leadership of the Sámi Parliament

The Sámi Parliament, in partnership with three other Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, the Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (COICA), the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), and the Asia Indigenous People’s Pact (AIPP), organized a dialogue meeting on the process of enhancing Indigenous Peoples’ participation in the UN.  Taking place in Quito, Ecuador, from 27 to 30 January 2020, the four-day meeting was attended by 30 representatives of Indigenous Peoples from around the world, as well as representatives of so-called friendly states. Its’ purpose was important: to discuss the UN process, find a common position for Indigenous Peoples for future work, and strengthen the dialogue with the member states.  The Sámi Parliament led the preparation, coordination, and logistics of the meeting, including coordinating funding from Norway, Canada and Finland.

The meeting was chaired by President Tuomas Aslak Juuso and Estebancio Castro Diaz, a Kuna from Panama.

Indigenous peoples representatives from around the world participated in the meeting.

For context, the enhancement of Indigenous Peoples’ right to participate in the UN is an important and enduring process. In 2017, the UN General Assembly adopted the first resolution (A/RES/71/321) on the process of enhancing the participation of Indigenous Peoples, but it has not yet taken any tangible steps to improve the participation of Indigenous Peoples. The process remains important, as it works to strengthen and support the ability of Indigenous Peoples to exercise their right to self-determination at an international level. This is particularly important for the Sámi Parliament and other similar institutions representing indigenous peoples, which currently lack their own proper place in the international community.

Discussions in Quito were founded on and guided by the UN human rights treaties, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Outcome Document of the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples as well as the background material for the preparation of the outcome document.  According to the UNGA resolution, the process must continue, which motivated the meeting coordinated by the Sámi Parliament.

The Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (COICA) organised a spiritual ceremony for the participants.

Over the course of the meeting, Indigenous Peoples and their representatives discussed the process that led to the adoption of the 2017 UNGA resolution, the current context, and future priorities. Its timing was strategic, as Indigenous Peoples’ representatives identified important priorities, strategies, and positions for the upcoming process. Following an internal dialogue amongst Indigenous Peoples, a conversation was held with representatives of the so-called  friendly states, including Finland.

To maintain momentum, the Indigenous Peoples’ representatives drafted an outcome document, providing direction and expectation for the participation process. It draws on recent decisions at the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, including the appointment of advisors to the General Assembly process, and charts out a constructive path forward for the internal coordination of Indigenous Peoples.

Quito Outcome Document


For further information, please contact:

Tuomas Aslak Juuso, President,  +35840 687 3394, tuomas.juuso(at)

Inka Saara Arttijeff, Secretary for International Affairs, +35850 5747629, inka-saara.arttijeff(at)

Interreg Nord welcomes you to the conference

Interreg Nord sávvá buresboahtima konferánsii
Rájehis vejolašvuoðat Sámis
Njukčamánu 11-12 b. 2020 Jåhkåmåhkis


Interreg Nord welcomes you to the conference
Borderless opportunities for Sápmi
March 11-12, 2020 in Jokkmokk


Reservations are made at Hotel Jokkmokk.
Booking and payment: Please use the code Interreg Nord.
Make your booking by the 11th of February at the latest.

INVITATION – Peer-training on indigenous reconciliation practices

Saturday – Sunday 15.-16.2.2020, Sajos Inari


Back-to-back with the UNPFII pre-meeting there is unique opportunity to take part in training focusing on indigenous rights and reconciliation. Some of the world leading practitioners on indigenous reconciliation will be available for peer-training. The training is also opportunity to engage more with the Sámi Parliaments and Truth and Reconciliation Processes and their lessons learned.

In Finland there has been training for Insider Reconcilers, which can lead community based dialogues and healing practices. Also in Finland, and echoing progress in Norway and Sweden, there is progress towards the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine the history of abuse suffered by Sami peoples in their relationship with the Finnish state, seeking to establish a new, reconciled relationship.

The training is also linked to a future UNPFII working group on indigenous reconciliation practices, which aims to collect best practices worldwide and assist indigenous reconciliation processes with peer support and process design assistance.


Download PDF-file

Saturday, February 15th

9 am Opening remarks and introductions, Anne Nuorgam, President of UNPFII

9.15 am Healing the past for the future – presenting video by Bob Cohen

9:30 am Workshop 1: Are we finding the truth and can there be reconciliation?
– Introduction to the Nordic Sámi Truth and Reconciliation Processes
President Tiina Sanila-Aikio, Sámi Parliament in Finland
President Per-Olof Nutti, Sámi Parliament in Sweden
President Aili Keskitalo, Sámi Parliament in Norway

11 am Workshop 2: Truth Commissions and survival of Indigenous People, Eduardo Gonzalez, Independent Expert
a) Truth commission definition and comparative examples
b) Truth commission legal mandates, powers and composition

12 – 1 pm Lunch

1 pm Workshop 2: Indigenous Peoples and Truth Commissions
a) Examples of truth commissions that have dealt with the experience of indigenous peoples
b) The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Truth Commissions

2-4 pm Workshop 3: Identifying critical questions and lessons learned
– Peer-training on Indigenous Truth Commissions. Group exercise to discuss the following questions:
a) What should be the priorities of the Sami Truth Commission?
b) How to ensure that the Truth Commission will have legitimacy among the Sami
c) How to ensure that the Truth Commission will have support among the non-Sami Finns?
d) What are the products that we expect from the Truth Commission, and how should we use them?

Sunday, February 16th

9 am Recap of previous day

9.30 am Contextualizing reconciliation and utilizing lessons learned, Antti Pentikäinen, Research Professor, Mary Hoch Center for Reconciliation at George Mason University

10.30 am Workshop 4: Identifying critical questions and lessons learned
– Peer training on Indigenous Reconciliation Practices

12-1 pm Lunch

1-3 pm Workshop 5: Process design and utilizing lessons learned
– Each participants reflects on their individual cases and receives couching from the peer-trainers

3 pm Introducing the UNPFII working group and providing guidance for it, Anne Nuorgam

4 pm Closing

The training is organized on the request of UNPFII President Anne Nuorgam and will be co-facilitated by Independent Expert Eduardo Gonzalez and Research Professor Antti Pentikainen. For further inquiries feel free to contact or

Helpful reading (From page 208)

Please Note!
The training is free, but requires a binding registration by 7th of February 2020.
Lunch, accommondation and travel at own expense.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Buriid juovllaid ja lihkolaš ođđa jagi!

Pyereh juovlah  luholâš uđđâ ihe!

Šiõǥǥ rosttov da leklvaž ođđ eeʹjj!

Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Happy Independence Day Finland!

Happy Independence Day Finland!

Buori Suoma iehčanasvuođabeaivvi!

Šiev Suomâ jiečânâsvuođâpeivi!

Šiõǥǥ Lääʹddjânnam jiõččnažvuõttpeeiʹv!

Hyvää Suomen itsenäisyyspäivää!

Photo: Tarja Länsman

Apply as an Intern at Walt Disney Animation Studios

Are you a current or recent student studying art, animation, computer graphics, and film?

Walt Disney Animation Studios are looking for internships for their Summer Internship Program 2020. As a Talent Development intern, you will have the unique opportunity to work directly with a Disney mentor as you explore all aspects of art, storytelling, and filmmaking

Walt Disney Animation Studios Summer Internship Program is a ten week program with different categories to apply for. Read more about their internship program and requirements here:


Production Management

Character, CG Artist

Environment, CG Artist

Visual Development

CG Animation

Technology Tools

Technology Research Graduate

Intern Meander Drawing Software

Graduate Intern Appearance Modeling and Rendering

Real-Time Rendering Intern

Environment Software

Deadline for application(s) and travel grant is January 13, 2020 at 09:00 Swedish/Norwegian time and 10:00 Finnish time. 

Travel grant

The internship form Sámi areas can apply for a 10.000 $ travel grant, funded by The Saami Council and the Sámi parliaments. The applicant must have Sámi background, meet Disney’s requirements for internships and have a plan for how to bring the knowledge back to the Sami community, such as through social media, lectures etc.

Write an application, max 1 page, explaining your applicant basis and how you want to bring your knowledge back to the Sami community.

Send your application for travel grant marked with “WDAS internship” to:

Deadline for application(s) and travel grant is January 13, 2020 at 09:00 Swedish/Norwegian time and 10:00 Finnish time.

Contact info

Christina Hætta, Sámiráđđi
+47 48021734,

Unique collaboration gives impacts to Sápmi

The Sámi Parliaments and the Saami Council have gained valuable experience in their collaboration with Walt Disney Animation Studios.   

“We are one people across state boarders, but on a daily basis we rarely work with the overall Sámi perspective as clearly as we have done in this work. It has been exciting to take on a challenge about our collective property right from an overall Sámi angle.” – say the Presidents of the Sámi Parliaments Tiina Sanila-Aikio (FI), Aili Keskitalo (NO), Per-Olof Nutti (SE) and the President of the Saami Council Åsa Larsson-Blind.

Respect and Recognition

In July 2019, the Sámi Parliaments and the Saami Council announced that a Northern Sámi version of Frozen 2 would be created as a result of the collaboration between Sápmi and Walt Disney Animation Studios.  For the Sámi Parliaments and the Saami Council it has been important to ensure that the Sámi culture, that has inspired the filmmakers behind Frozen 2, is treated with respect and recognition.

Therefore, a separate Sámi expert group was put together to assist filmmakers in navigating Sámi culture, history, rights and society during the filmmaking process. The Sámi working group was named “Verddet”.

“We are so proud of our Verddet which have contributed professional knowledge and their unique experiences to this work” – state the Sámi Presidents.

The Verddet group consisted of Káren Ánne Buljo, Veli-Pekka Lehtola, Cecilia Persson, Piia Nuorgam, Christina Hætta, and Ánne Lájlá Utsi.

Unique Opportunities

In the agreement between the Sámi people and Walt Disney Animation Studios there are also other positive outcomes for the Sámi community, including the establishment of professional exchanges and competence building. All such contributions will benefit the Sámi community.

“In this process we have had to identify what is valuable to our society as a whole, among other things, we consider competence enhancing measures and potential collaboration opportunities for Sámi cultural workers as an important contribution for all of Sápmi.  We look forward to sharing more details about this as opportunities are announced” – state the Presidents.

Attached are the signed agreement and a biography of the members of the Verddet.

Press images can be found on our Flickr account:

The Sámi delegation met with Frozen 2 producer Peter Del Vecho and his team from Walt Disney Animation Studios during his press tour in Oslo on September 22 and 23, 2019.  The parties took the opportunity to sign a ceremonial public version of the agreement.  Photo: Lars Opstad / Sámediggi & Sámeráđđi.

Sámi Parliament calls for Finland, holding the presidency of the Council of the EU, to react to the murder of the indigenous leader Emyra Wajãpi and violations of indigenous rights in Brazil

On Friday the 9th of August 2019, the Sámi Parliament of Finland presented its statement concerning the murder of the indigenous leader Emyra Wajãpi and the violations of indigenous rights taking place in Brazil.

For example according to information published on the website of the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs IWGIA, the Wajãpi leader was found killed in the neighbourhood of the village Mariry after approximately fifty gold miners had entered the lands of the indigenous Wajãpi people in the Amapá state in the northern part of Brazil. According to sources in the Internet, the miners pushed into the lands of the Wajãpi people, taking over the village of Mariry so that the inhabitants had to flee to the village Aramirã.

The events in Brazil have evoked extensive international attention, and, for example, Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has published a statement on the incidents. Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, has several times expressed his desire to harness extensive areas, for example of lands that have been traditionally used by indigenous peoples in the Amazon, for the use of various industries. Such measures would especially have negative effects on the indigenous cultures of the region and be violations of the indigenous rights listed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (see e.g. Article 10 on indigenous lands and territories).

In its statement, the Sámi Parliament also expressed its concern for the impact of the policy pursued by the president and the government of Brazil as concerns global climate. Here, the Sámi Parliament called for Finland to take a stand on the recent events, referring to the values Finland promotes both nationally and internationally in order to restrain climate change and enhance the implementation of human rights.

Further information

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

Laura Olsén-Ljetoff, Secretary of International Affairs tel. +358 10 839 3155, laura.olsen-ljetoff(at)

Statement regarding the murder of Emyra Wajãpi and violations of rights of indigenous peoples in Brazil