Quick Facts

Territory
Finland, the Russian Federation, Norway and Sweden

Indigenous Peoples
Sámi

Indigenous Population
Estimated over 100,000

Languages
Nine

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The Saami Council’s core missions are to:

  • Promote Sámi rights and interests in the four countries where Sámi are living
  • Consolidate the feeling of affinity among the Sámi people
  • Attain recognition for the Sámi as a nation
  • Maintain the economic, social and cultural rights of the Sámi in the legislation of the four states

About the Saami People

The Sámi people live in Sápmi, an area that stretches across the northern parts of Finland, the Russian Federation, Norway and Sweden. There are no available statistics on how many Sámi there are, but over 100,000 is the estimate that is used most often. The majority of the Sámi population lives in Norway. There are nine total Sámi languages spoken today.

The Sámi people traditionally made their living from reindeer herding, fishing, livestock farming and hunting. Since 1989, the Sámi in Norway have had their own elected assembly – the Sámediggi – which acts as a consultative body for the Norwegian government authorities.

Saami Council in the Arctic Council

The Saami Council collaborates with Arctic States, Working Groups and other Permanent Participants regarding circumpolar relations with regular contributions to Chairmanship work plans. The Saami Council has particular interest in environmental protection and sustainable development in the Arctic.

Christina Henriksen
President

Dr. Ellen Inga Turi

Head of Delegation (for SAO meetings)
Email

Gunn-Britt Retter

Head of Arctic and Environmental Unit
Email
+47 994 90 344

The Secretariat
Sámiráđđi /Saami Council
Postbox 162
N-9735 Kárášjohka / Karasjok
Norway
saamicouncil@saamicouncil.net
+47 9750 8854

Featured Projects

Photo: Hjalti Hreinsson

Gender Equality in the Arctic

GEA is an international collaborative project focusing on gender equality in the Arctic, beginning in 2013. Phase 3 of the project began in 2019.

Indigenous Youth, Food Knowledge and Arctic Change (EALLU) II

This project aims to maintain and further develop a sustainable and resilient reindeer husbandry in the Arctic in face of climate change and globalisation, working towards a vision of creating a bette...

Local 2 Global: Circumpolar collaboration for suicide prevention and mental wellness

Local 2 Global aims to facilitate international collaboration and connections between circumpolar communities working to prevent suicide and support the mental wellbeing of all Arctic youth and commun...