Sami Parliament demands more land control
The Sami Parliament in Norway demands that the Sàmi people get land rights over as much as 40 percent of Norwegian land areas, reports the Barents Observer.
In a resolution yesterday, the Sàmi Parliament stated that Sàmi people living in the southern part of the country should have the same rights to manage reindeer pasture land as in the northernmost county of Finnmark, NRK reports.
The resolution has sparked major debate all over the country. While Parliament Speaker Egil Olli maintains that the Sàmi people should have land rights practically all over the country, critics now argue that the parliament is by far overestimating its powers.
Mr. Olli and the Sàmi Parliament argues that Sàmi representatives should be included in land management bodies in all the three northernmost counties, as well as in the Trønderlag counties. If approved, that would give the parliament a hand of control over up to 40 percent of Norwegian territory.
The Sàmi Parliament already controls major land areas in the northernmost Norwegian county of Finnmark.
The historical Finnmark Act from 2006 gives the parliament control over 46,000 square km of land, which is as much as 96 percent of all the county. Together with the Finnmark County Council, the Sàmi Parliament runs the Finnmark Property company, the owner of the land.