For two days, the network NORSIL has met in Umeå to discuss Sámi rights and sustainable development. In the workshop, researchers from the Nordic countries together with, representatives from Sámi institutions and representatives of the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) in Norway and Finland participated.
Photo Sofia Strömgren
During the meeting, the representatives of the Sámi institutions presented the challenges they face in their work on sustainable development. A common question addressed is, for example, how Sámi institutions and communities can achieve meaningful influence in different decision processes that concern them.
According to Åsa Larsson Blind, president of the Sámi Council “A good example of participation is the Arctic Council, where we sit at the table and participate in the discussions. However there are many examples of situations when we are not invited to issues that concern us, especially at the national level”.
In this context, the participation and meaningful consultation of the Sámi people in the governance and management of their traditional land and resources were highlighted as significant and long standing issues of concern in all three Nordic countries. From the forestry to the mining sectors and including the development of wind energy projects, the workshop discussion evidenced the need to question the adequacy of the law and policy to ensure the protection of the rights of the Sámi people at the national level.
The workshop is part of a NOS-HS project funded by the Nordic Research Council. The next workshops will take place in Tromso and Helsinki in 2020.