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 
anni-sofia.niittyvuopio(at)samediggi.fi 

Elli-Marja Hetta 
Youth secretary
+358 50 382 5179 / +358 10 839 3134 
elli-marja.hetta(at)samediggi.fi 

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)samediggi.fi

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)samediggi.fi

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

Photo: Ville-Riiko Fofonoff

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2021

Buriid juovllaid ja lihkolaš ođđa jagi 2021!​

Pyereh juovlah já luholâš uđđâ ihe 2021!​

Šiõǥǥ rosttvid da leklvaž ođđ eeʹjj 2021!​

Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta 2021!​

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2021!

Illustration: Erja Wiltse

Sámi Parliament’s Call Center is Closed 23-31 December 2020

Sámi Parliament’s Call Center is Closed 23-31 December 2020.

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 inviting students from Sápmi to apply as an intern for the Walt Disney Animation Studios Summer Internship Program 2021. 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

12 week program paid experience designed for students studying art, animation, computer graphics, and film. Please note, the safety and well-being of our teams is very important to us. We will be determining whether this program will be in-person at our Burbank, CA studio or virtual in the coming months based on government recommendations.

Read more about their internship program and requirements here:

Story

CG Artist – Character

CG Artist – Environment

Visual Development

Production Management

CG Animation

The deadline for applications is 1/24/2021, 11:59 PM PST.

Travel grant

The internship form Sámi areas can apply for a10.000$ travel grant, funded by The Saami Council and the Sámi parliaments. The applicant must have Sámi background, meets Disney’s requirements for internships and should 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 to meet our travel grant requirements.

Send your application for travel grant marked with “WDAS internship” to: kmr@saamicouncil.net.

The deadline for travel applications is 1/24/2021, 11:59 PM PST.

Tuomas Aslak Juuso (President of the Sámi Parliament in Finland), Åsa Larsson-Blind (Vice President of the Sámi Council), Aili Keskitalo (President of the Sámi Parliament in Norway) ja Per-Olof Nutti (President of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden). Photo: The Sámi Parliament

– We are pleased that this unique opportunity will present itself in 2021, either digitally or locally at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Los Angeles. Many good applications were received from Sápmi last year, but due to Covid-19, the internship scheme in 2020 was postponed. We therefore hope that those who had applied last year will consider applying again. We are happy to be able to contribute to a very exciting exchange opportunity, says Aili Keskitalo (President of the Sámi Parliament in Norway), Tuomas Aslak Juuso (President of the Sámi Parliament in Finland), Per-Olof Nutti (President of the Sámi Parliament in Sweden) and Åsa Larsson-Blind (Vice President of the Sámi Council) in a joint statement.


Contact information:

Aili Keskitalo,
Phone: +47 97129305
E-mail: aili.keskitalo@samediggi.no

Tuomas Aslak Juuso
Phone: +358 406873394
E-mail: tuomas.juuso@samediggi.fi

Per-Olof Nutti
Phone: +46 703763112
E-mail: Per-Olof.Nutti@sametinget.se

Åsa Larsson-Blind,
Phone: +46 702543356             
E-mail: asa@saamicouncil.net

Contact info about the internship and travel grant:

Christina Hætta, The Saami Council
Phone: +47 48021734
E-mail: kmr@saamicouncil.net

Happy Independence Day Finland 6.12.2020

Buori iehčanasvuođabeaivvi!

Šiev jiečânâsvuođâpeivi!

Šiõǥǥ jiõččnažvuõttpeeiʹv!

Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää!

Happy Independence Day Finland!

Ministry of the Environment and Sámi Parliament negotiate on the Climate Change Act

The negotiations on the Climate Change Act between the Ministry of the Environment and the Sámi Parliament under section 9 of the Act on the Sámi Parliament were held on Tuesday 27 October. The Government proposal for the reformed Climate Change Act should be ready in spring 2021.

In the negotiations the representatives of the Sámi Parliament presented their views on how the rights of the Sámi people should be taken into account in the Climate Change Act.

“Climate change is a very serious threat especially to the Sámi culture and its traditional nature-based livelihoods. In the reform of the Climate Change Act we want to strengthen the rights of the Sámi as an indigenous people and their opportunities to participate in climate policy,” says Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen, who also took part in the negotiations.

The topics raised included the importance of climate change adaptation and support for this, and the need to create a knowledge base, expert assessments and monitoring related to the impacts of climate change from the perspective of the Sámi people.

“I wish to thank Minister Mikkonen for participating in the negotiations with the Sámi Parliament in person, which is quite exceptional. For developing a climate policy of and for the Sámi people, it is important to include a climate panel and climate change adaptation programme of the Sámi people in the Climate Change Act. Taking the rights of the Sámi people more broadly into account in the Climate Change Act is most welcome, as well as highly necessary,” says Tuomas Aslak Juuso, President of the Sámi Parliament.

Online survey on citizens’ views concerning the Climate Change Act

A public online consultation is currently open to collect the citizens’ views. The consultation consists of two surveys, and in one of these the key focus is on how the rights of the Sámi people should be incorporated into the Climate Change Act.

The surveys are available on the Otakantaa website, also in the Sámi languages. They will be open until 12 November 2020. A summary of the replies will be compiled and delivered to the working group tasked with preparing the new Act and published on the Ministry of the Environment website.

Inquiries:

Riikka Yliluoma, Special Adviser to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, tel. +358 295 250 091, riikka.yliluoma@ym.fi

Leena Ylä-Mononen, Director General, chair of the working group reforming the Climate Change Act, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 295 250 023, leena.yla-mononen@ym.fi

Tiina Lovisa Solbär, Environmental Secretary, Sámi Parliament, tel. +358 10 839 3184, tiinalovisa.solbaer@samediggi.fi

Tuomas Aslak Juuso, President, Sámi Parliament, tel. +358 10 839 3101, tuomas.juuso@samediggi.fi

Read more about the Climate Change Act and its reform on the Ministry of the Environment website

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

Background

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)samediggi.fi

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