Inari, Finland

The Babel Parliament of the Sami Nation

conversation between photocopies
Sami parliamentary representatives debate the nation's problems during a bureaucratic break.
Sami Assembly
The newly constructed sami parliament building in Inari.
listening to the opposition
Sami representative monitors the interventions of other Sami people through simultaneous translation.
Round and composite table
Animated debate by several sami representatives.
Yrjo Musta
Yrjo Musta, teacher of the Inari Sami sub-ethnic group, on arrival in Parliament.
anu araskan
Anu Araskan, elder of the Inari Sami group.
Reindeer Skin Policy
Sami representative arrives at parliament dressed in good Sami fashion.
Babel Sami
Traffic sign indicates the Parliament in four distinct dialects.
Silver thrown on the wall
Sami symbols highlighted on the wall of the Parliament debate room.
Ulla-Maarit Magga
Ulla-Maarit Magga, representative of the Enontekio sub-ethnicity, from the Northern Sami territory
Tauno Haltta
Tauno Haltta, a young Sami dressed in traditional costumes in one of the corridors of the parliament of this northern ethnic group.
conversation in day
Sami representatives talk before another session begins in Inari's parliament.
Hats, shawls and scarves
Session goes on, with almost all participants wearing colorful traditional costumes.
Jenko Hatta
Jenko Hatta, a parliamentarian from Vuotso, a village in northern Sami territory.
The Sami Nation comprises four countries, which ingest into the lives of their peoples. In the parliament of Inari, in various dialects, the Sami govern themselves as they can.

It's almost five in the afternoon when we arrive at the entrance to the newly opened Sajos de Inari. This is the Cultural Center building and the seat of the Finnish Sami parliament.

The Sami people see it as a decisive work for their development and self-government as part of the Suomi territory.

Sajos, Inari, Babel Parliament of the Sami Nation Lapland, Finland

The newly constructed sami parliament building in Inari.

Around this time, a small chilled crowd gathers in an indoor amphitheater to watch the awards ceremony for the Porokuninkuusajot (Kings Cup), the most important event in the national reindeer racing calendar.

The room next door welcomes representatives of Sami municipalities. All are prepared for an extensive agenda, armed with their laptops and files.

All have assigned seats at a round table.

Conversation between photocopies, Inari, Babel Parliament of the Sami Lapland Nation, Finland

Sami parliamentary representatives debate the nation's problems during a bureaucratic break.

Before the session starts, they help themselves to tea, milk, sandwiches, biscuits and pastries, available from a buffet positioned below the translators' booths.

Not all citizens understand each other. O suomi that could solve the difficulty is not called there.

Round table and composite, Inari, Babel Parliament of the Sami Nation Lapland, Finland

Animated debate by several sami representatives.

In some cases, differences between regions or sub-ethnic groups go far beyond the language and colorful costumes they wear.

The Beginning of Another Sami Assembly

The session starts. We followed the first quiet and paused interventions to feel the pulse of the room, but if Finnish is, in itself, unintelligible, let alone those even more exotic Sami-Finish languages.

Earing Opposition, Inari, Babel Parliament of the Sami Lapland Nation, Finland

Sami representative monitors the interventions of other Sami people through simultaneous translation.

The parliament has an English speaking service secretary. Marja Mannisto is a busy woman. Even so, it takes us a few minutes on the sofas outside to bring us up to date with the issues being debated.

The main issues are related to the ILO convention (International Labor Organization) for indigenous and tribal peoples in independent countries.

Jenko Hatta, Inari, Babel Parliament of the Samim Lapland Nation, Finland

Jenko Hatta, a parliamentarian from Vuotso, a village in northern Sami territory.

Os Sami they complain that, despite the progress, 90% of the Sapmi territory is still managed by Metshällitus, the Finnish Service for Parks and Forests, and as such does not actually belong to them.

Metshällitus Interference and Other Crucial Issues

Marja explains to us in faltering English: “so far, Finnish officials have subsidized identity Sami in many ways. For the publication of teaching materials in indigenous languages ​​alone, it allocated 290.000 euros this year. Even so, when the issue is territorial, they tend to protect the population. Sami who fears feeling foreign when traveling to the far north, or losing what she considers her historic rights to those lands, to hunt and fish there. "

Footwear, Inari, Babel Parliament of the Sami Lapland Nation, Finland

Sami representative arrives at parliament dressed in good Sami fashion.

Other regional disputes no less important compete with these:

“Utsoki wants to break away from the predominant municipality of Inari, which is too far away, but by itself it would be too poor. Thus, it proposes to join Norwegian counterparts with whom it shares a language. Sami distinct, the same school, library, infirmary and others. Inari, on the other hand, has been losing population to the south, especially Helsinki (from more than 7.000 inhabitants a few years ago to less than 7.000 now).”

Babel Sami, Inari, Babel Parliament of the Sami Nation Lapland, Finland

Traffic sign indicates the Parliament in four distinct dialects.

You want to embed all surrounding regions. Rovaniemi – which, thanks largely to tourism, has a thriving economy – does not need Inari and defends its autonomy from the capital of the North”.

Sami Enontekio, Inari, Babel Parliament of the Nation Sami Lapland, Finland

Ulla-Maarit Magga, representative of the Enontekio sub-ethnicity, from the Northern Sami territory

We stayed for some time to watch the progress of the work. Those, however, were Sami political affairs. Discussed in Sami dialects. Outside, we had a whole Sami life in the dazzling nature at the top of the Lapland to find out.

We took a few more pictures of the dignitaries present there. We appreciate your attention. We return to the outside even colder.

Silver Sami, Inari, Babel Parliament of the Sami Nation Lapland, Finland

Sami symbols highlighted on the wall of the Parliament debate room.

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