Discussion event about the importance and rights of fishing in Deatnu (Teno/Tana) for the Sámi. Organized by Govas, Alva ja Uksi Productions. The event is in English.
Background: Historically, the Sámi communities in the Deatnu valley had practiced their time-honored traditions of fishing the Deatnu river and its tributaries. Fishing, especially salmon fishing, has been an integral part of Sámi culture for centuries. However, states of Norway and Finland have imposed harsher and harsher restrictions for traditional fishing, and for the past two years ruling for a total fishing ban to rivers.
About the event: The event will discuss the topic from several different perspectives. Lawyer, former chair of the Permanent Forum, Anne Nuorgam presents how strategic litigation can be used as a tool to defend the rights of indigenous peoples. Anni Koivisto, the last term’s vice-president of the Sámi parliament in Finland, explains how the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding fishing rights can have a wider impact on the realization of the Sámi’s rights in Finland. Sandra Márjá Vest, the political adviser of the Sámi Parliament in Norway, presents the Norwegian Sámi Assembly’s position on Deatnu fishing, and doctor, head of the Sámi psychosocial support unit Uvja, Heidi Eriksen tells how Deatnu fishing restrictions have affected the well-being and mental health of people in the Deatnu valley. After the presentations, there will be open discussion with the panel. Event will be moderated by Aslat Holmberg, chair of Sámi Council.
Moderator: Aslat Holmberg
16.00 Welcome by Alva, Govas and Uksi
16.05 Ánne Nuorgam – Strategic litigation through the Veahčak case
16.15 Ánne Koivisto – The significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Finland
16.25 Sandra Márjá Vest – Deatnu fishing in Norway
16.35 Heidi Eriksen – The effect of Deatnu fishing ban on people’s well-being and mental health
16.45 Open discussion with panelists: Harry Johansen, Kati Eriksen, Ánne Nuorgam, Ánne Koivisto, Sandra Marja Vest, Heidi Eriksen
17.25 Closing words
The Sámi communities in Deatnu valley, known for their long standing fishing traditions, have faced increasing restrictions from Norway and Finland, including a recent three-year fishing ban. The event will explore this issue from various angles. Anne Nuorgam, a lawyer and former chair of the Permanent Forum, will discuss using strategic litigation to protect indigenous rights. Anni Koivisto, ex-vice president of the Sámi parliament, will address the Finnish Supreme Court’s rulings on fishing rights and their broader implications for the Sámi. Sandra Márjá Vest from the Sámi Parliament in Norway will present their stance on Deatnu fishing, while Heidi Eriksen, head of the Sámi psychosocial support unit, will speak on the mental health impact of these fishing restrictions. The event, moderated by Aslat Holmberg of the Sámi Council, will include an open panel discussion.