Maja Kristine Jåma, a reindeer herder and politician, discusses the negative impacts of wind turbine farms that have been built on the traditional lands of her people, the Sámi. The Sámi have fought against these state-owned wind companies since before their construction (about twenty years ago) because they violate their traditional rights and interrupt their livelihoods. The wind turbines, which are about 200 meters tall, also significantly impact the grazing patterns of reindeer, an important animal for the Sámi. After Sámi concerns were largely ignored, the Norwegian Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the wind farms violate Sámi lands and cultures, and they breach the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Despite this, Jåma explains that it is an ongoing issue, as the wind farms have already been built. She emphasizes how a just transition cannot take place with human and Indigenous rights being violated. Photo Credit: Sámediggi
A delegation of Indigenous women traveled to Norway to share their experiences from the frontlines of Standing Rock and to advocate that Norway’s largest financial services group, DNB, divest from Dakota Access Pipeline. The delegation, which included Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle (Oglala Lakota and Mdewakantonwan Dakota), Wasté Win Yellowlodge Young (Standing Rock Sioux), Tara Houska (Anishinaabe of Couchiching First Nation), Michelle Cook Dineh (Navajo), and Autumn Chacon (Navajo/Diné), spoke directly to a member of the Norwegian parliament. Photo credit: Censored News
Gunnel Heligfjell is an artist and writer who teaches the Sami language to school children. While she lives in a more conventional home in Vilhelmina, Sweden most of the year, she still spends time in a goahti or lavvu during summer or hunting trips. She believes in this traditional self-reliance and knows how to build traditional shelters and still cures reindeer meat (from her husband’s herd) and makes shoes, bags and fabrics from the skins. The Sami people are one of the oldest semi-nomadic Indigenous groups in the world. Traditionally herding reindeer in the Arctic regions of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia’s Kola Peninsula (the region is known as Sapmi), they work with the rhythms of nature in order to survive the harsh climate. Photo credit: Kirsten Dirksen
This doctoral thesis analyses the efforts made by Sámi women since the 1970s and 1980s to redefine and reshape the patriarchal culture. Elsa Laula-Renberg, a Sámi activist and politician, was the first to create the atmosphere for Sámi women to begin evaluating their positions and roles in a modernized and advancing society, along with giving women the political and structural tools to address their concerns regarding increasing social and economic inequalities. During the last years, women's place in Sámi tradition has been re-evaluated through several legislative policies and women are now considered as a central part of Sámi life. However,Sámi women still fight to bring their issues to the political and social stage as new expressions of what it means to be a Sámi woman and a female reindeer herder.