Sámi struggle for self-determination
The government of Finland has faced calls to amend the Sámi Parliament Act, thereby granting the Indigenous people the right to self-determination, a move already approved at the Sámi Parliament level in November 2022 and sent to the Finnish Parliament for review and approval.
At the time of writing, the amendment had been blocked by political parties, most notably the Centre Party, which feared losing its support base in Indigenous Sámi land, known as Lapland.
Advocates of the Sámi cause claim that there is little understanding in Finland of the Sámi's history, culture, and society, which can lead to uninformed decision-making. President of the Sámi Council, Aslak Holmberg, stated that this lack of knowledge can result in disrespectful attitudes towards “indigenous people who still cannot decide on their own affairs,” in particular, referring to the Sámi who do not yet have the right to collective self-determination.
The Sámi Parliament Act was passed in 1996 in Finland; however, the United Nations have repeatedly criticised the Finnish government for limiting the Sámi right to self-determination.
Civic Space Developments