Gerald is one of the few foreigners living in Hetta. His Finnish partner, Heidi, works with us from time to time, and in this blog he writes about his experiences living in such a remote region.
Grandma in Lapland Blog: Blog by a southern Finnish grandma now living in Lapland.
'The Opposing View'
I have outlined, here, some websites / blogs which highlight the opposing view to that portrayed in the popular press on the subject of Saami and Lappish Land Rights and the impact of the potential ratification of the ILO Convention 169 (just because I had to reach out to the Mayor to find these sites when I needed to, at one point, when asked about the subject by a journalist. At least, now, I have them 'at hand' for personal reference). There is a lot of funding going into expressing one view point and none going into the expression of the contrary viewpoint which is drowned at all but the very local level - at which it is a highly contentious and much debated issue. Posting links, here, will at least, maybe, help those who are really interested in more than simply following the popular party line to delve a little more deeply into the subject....
Mikko Kärnä: Enontekiö's Mayor, Mikko Kärnä writes a blog about his thoughts on the region and its development struggles. Mikko provides independent thoughts on the traditional struggle between reindeer-herding (and other) Lapps, reindeer-herding (and other) Sami, other locals and entrepreneurs or those involved in tourism in the region. Prepare to realise that the easy PC 'pro Sami' and anti 'everyone else' view is maybe not the best one for the region!
Mikko Karna's blog Mikko Karna is the mayor of Enontekiö and a fervent defender of Lapland and its needs, whilst also being an opponent of the ratification of the ILO Convention 169. He has written a number of blogs around this subject and on the subject of (the initial postponement of the) ratification by Finland of the ILO Convention 169.
This article looks at how the rights of indigenous peoples doing the ILO 169 Agreement is again topical in Finland and about how the Ombudsman for Minorities urges ratification, but the agreement has opponents among even the Sami people and some background on the Saami and how they do not necessarily fit within the definition of an indigenous community is given here.
This website discusses the equality gap, oppression and racism which can occured between a favoured minority and a majority population. In other words, it presents the oposing argument to that heard generally in the popular press.
Lapland's Indigenous Questions are discussed in some detail on this website and there is more information about the same issue on this Kolari blog although it's google chrome automatic translation is pretty difficult to understand.
According to Mikko Karna, there are also many researchers also working on this issue. Jouni Kitti is one of the best and then there is also Juha Joona, Tanja Joona, Erika Sarivaara and Anu Avaskari from Inari who can be interviewed.
An official questions and answers document about the proposed ratification can be found here.