New Sami president didn’t speak Sami

For the first time ever, the president of the Sami Parliament (Sametinget) in Norway could not and did not deliver the president’s annual New Year’s Day speech in the Sami language. Vibeke Larsen of the Labour Party, who assumed her post just before the holidays in what some call a political coup, ended up turning her lack of language proficiency […]

Pipeline protests reach Parliament

SEE THE VIDEO: Protests in Norway against construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline in the US have not subsided. Scores of protesters gathered in front of the Norwegian Parliament Thursday evening, shortly after Greenpeace Norway presented a demand backed by 420 organizations in 50 countries that Norway’s biggest bank and many others immediately suspend funding for the […]

Eurovision fans can fly the Sami flag

Norwegian fans cheering their ethnic Sami candidate at the Eurovision Song Contest next week will be able to fly the Sami flag along with the Norwegian flag after all. Contest officials are dropping their ban on any flags other than those representing participating countries, bowing to critics who felt the ban was unreasonable. “This is more about […]

Sami still battling discrimination

The Easter holidays were typically festive for Norway’s indigenous Sami people, marking a high season for weddings and other traditional celebrations as the days grow longer and lighter. This year some ominous clouds had been gathering, however, following a string of disturbing incidents and claims of discrimination by Sami leaders. “We’ve been seeing an alarming negative development […]

Reaction mixed to huge windmill plan

Both praise and objections were blowing around Norwegian plans announced on Tuesday to go ahead with what’s billed as the largest land-based windmill project in Europe. State-owned energy firm Statkraft, local utility TrønderEnergi and an investor consortium called Nordic Wind Power plan to build the windmills on the Fosen peninsula, at Hitra and in Snillfjord. It’s […]

NRK’s ‘slow TV’ keen to follow reindeer

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), which sparked international interest with its “slow TV” concept, has a new project in the works. It involves plans to follow hundreds of reindeer as their herders move them during springtime from winter grazing grounds to the coast. It’s common  when driving along Norway’s Arctic coast of Finnmark to encounter reindeer along the road […]

Fur flies over reindeer herds

Reindeer owners in Northern Norway were furious this week that Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) revealed the size of their herds, and revealed that some owners had built up their herds in advance of new state demands that they be reduced. State officials claim the grazing reindeer can’t find enough food, and that owners must slaughter animals or face […]

Young boss trains for Riddu Riddu

Karoline Tveitnes Trollvik first got involved with Northern Norway’s Riddu Riddu festival as a volunteer at the tender age of 10. Now she’s poised to literally run the whole show, as director of what’s become one of the largest festivals for indigenous people in Northern Europe. Founded in 1991 the festival takes place annually in Kåfjord in Nord-Troms, […]

Controversial mine gets green light

Mining company Nussir received government approval on Thursday for its controversial copper mine at Kvalsund in Finnmark. Plans to harvest rich mineral veins then dump tailings into the fjord below have environmentalists, local fishermen and the Sami community worried, and they’ve vowed to keep fighting against the project. “I think today we have got the […]

Debate over Sami ‘national’ day

Sami national day has been celebrated by indigenous people across Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia on February 6 since the Sami Conference adopted the date in 1992. The day was chosen to commemorate the first international Sami congress in Trondheim in 1917, but debate remains over what the day should actually be called. Directly translated […]