Elections in Norway – Where do the Parties Stand on Reindeer Husbandry?

September 4, 2009 • Philip BurgessReindeer, Reindeer Herders

On September 14th, people in Norway will go to the polls – for the national elections, for the Sami Parliament elections and the municipality and regional elections. As a result, the Norwegian media has been full of little else, these last few weeks. NRK Sami Radio ran a piece recently that asked where all the parties (who had candidates running for the Sami Parliament) stood on reindeer husbandry. Some of these parties (Arbeiderpartiet, Høyre, Fremskrittspartiet and Senterpartiet) are mainstream Norwegian parties, while the others are parties only running for the Sami Parliament or regionally. Read on and see where the parties stand…

Arbeiderpartiet“Labor Party’s vision for the reindeer policy based on security for the reindeer herding Saami community, and that those who are engaged in reindeer will be able to support himself by it. Reindeer herding is an industry that is strongly linked to the Sami culture. In many parts of the country are reindeer herders considered the very backbone and the identity of the Sami culture. The reindeer will also in future be an essential part of Sami industry structure. This means that the community takes responsibility to protect grazing land from encroachment that destroys the basis for the reindeer’s existence. “

Árja: “In consultation and through cooperation with reindeer herding (in Sami called verddevuohta) work to find solutions that promote all forms of Sami industries and combined use as equal rights holders.

• Working on how the Reindeer Act’s provisions for multi-use conflicts should be changed so that they better take into account others than just reindeer herding Sami rights holders.
• Working to initiate research on how the reindeer herding legislation through the ages has changed in the Sami society, and deprived some groups Sami their rights to own reindeer. “

Høyre: “Reindeer husbandry is a special Sami industry that is regulated by separate legislation. We will continue to develop reindeer herding and speed up work on a comprehensive revision of the Reindeer Husbandry Act. In this context, Høyre consider changing its departmental affiliation, and move reindeer management from the agriculture ministry to another industrial ministry. By the revision of the Reindeer Act will allow Høyre the tools to change the necessary regulations, so that additional sanctions measures and retrenchment from the government side would not be necessary.

Flytttsamelista. This party, which represents migratory Sami reindeer herders, unsurprisingly has the most detailed programme for reindeer husbandry. You can download it here: 1.6754604!Flyttsamelista

Fremskrittspartiet“Managing the reindeer as other business activities. The industry should be exercised as freely as possible, and public responsibility should be limited to a reasonable stewardship of public grazing lands.”

Norske Samers Riksforbund: “NSR will strengthen and develop primary industries, agriculture, herding, fishing, nature-based industries and duodji, and combinations thereof. This will be done through the input to the central negotiations in agriculture and herding, and the priorities of the Sami Parliament to the industry, as well as value added application for the combination of industries. “

NSR will work in the Sami Parliament that:

  • provisions of the Reindeer Husbandry Act and the Planning and Building Act be coordinated to strengthen herding influence in community planning
  • reindeer herding land conservation is strengthened
  • increase knowledge and understanding of the reindeer herding population
  • Sami Parliament’s role in securing the future of reindeer husbandry is strengthened by economic and administrative issues “

Samenes Folkeforbund: “The Sami People’s Association will work for a reindeer industry that is in balance with nature. A small part of the Sami people in the country are involved in reindeer herding, and this is an industry that is very heavy on land in some areas. The Sami Parliament needs to be given greater decision-making authority within the reindeer herding. The Reindeer herding industry utilizes resources that would otherwise not be exploited by others and must be adapted to today’s resource base. Coordination with other sectors is important for the future of reindeer husbandry. “

Senterpartiet: “The Center  Party aims to develop the primary industries within nature’s carrying capacity so that new generations are given the opportunity for income and food ensured that recruitment for the future. Reindeer herding has an important significance for strengthening and preservation of the Sami language and culture. Women and youth must be given the right to an independent economic basis for the reindeer herders.
The Center  Party will work on:
– The number of reindeer be adjusted for grazing
– That State inspectors must gain herding skills
– That the elderly Requirements for reindeer herding must be maintained and given greater weight
– That the Saami Parliament should have greater influence during the consultations associated with the development of reindeer herding rights policy
– Encourage the processing of products
– Women and young people ensured their own industrial base and a foothold in the industry
– That welfare schemes in reindeer husbandry must be developed
– The tax and fee arrangements must be compared with other primary industries
– Work for it to be easier to exploit the raw materials from reindeer “

Ofelaš: “Ofelaš believes that the Sami Parliament is not ready to manage reindeer herding. The Sami Parliament does not have enough resources to take over the management of reindeer herding.
Ofelaš will work:
• that reindeer herding is not subject to the Saami Parliament’s administration
• work on the issue of practicing reindeer husbandry in traditional family areas.
• on the issue of burden of proof on loss of reindeer to predation.

Nordkalottfolket: “Reindeer industry has, as the only Sami wilderness activities, been given strong protection and good framework conditions through their own legislation. This is important and appropriate. However, some parts of the legislation are out of balance with the rest of Sami business, and substantially hinder the development of other business and development. At the same time it is weak in relation to legal protection within the reindeer herding. We do not know today what consequences the Samerettsutvalget II will be bring as changes in reindeer herding.

Other wilderness industries must be given the same framework. Other Sami and Norwegian businesses in the northern areas are also important to maintain the settlement areas. A sustainable industrial development must be based on innovation and modernization, with environmental, economic and social conditions as supporting elements. “