The Sámi are an indigenous people with traditional territories within the national borders of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia. The Sámi people have lived in their settlements long before the national borders were established. The Sámi Parliament in Norway is an expression of recognition that the Sámi are one of two peoples in Norway.
The Sámi Parliament is democratically elected by and among the Sámi; it is an indigenous parliament and deals with all matters concerning the Sámi people. The Sámi Parliament shall improve the Sámi`s political position and promote Sámi interests, and is primarily a political body for the Sámi people. The Sámi Parliament`s role as an independent actor working together with others applies on the national and international arenas alike. No one has the authority to issue instructions to the Sámi Parliament. The Sámi Parliament identifies its own priorities and develops its own policies, based on its mandate from the Sámi People and dialogue with our communities.
The Sámi Parliament has also taken over administrative responsiblity and policy instruments in certain areas, in example in matters concerning language, culture, and education.
The Sámi Parliament is a representative elected assembly with 39 representatives elected by seven constituencies every fourth year. The Plenary Assembly is the supreme governing body of the Sámi Parliament and its activities are regulated within the framework provided by the Sámi Act.
The plenary meetings are usually held four times a year in the Sámi Parliament Building in Karasjok and all meetings are open to the public. The Plenary Assembly can adress all issues considered to impact the Sámi People.
The leadership of the plenary implements the Sámi Parliament`s procedures and administrates parliamentary meetings. It also deals with the parliament’s representational responsibilities. The president of the plenary, Tom Sottinen, is formally the highest ranking Member of Parliament (MP) and leads the work done by the plenary assembly.
The Executive Council consists of five members, chaired by the president of the Sámi Parliament, Aili Keskitalo. The president is elected by the Plenary Assemby, whilst the four other members of the Council are appointed by the president.
The Sámi Parliaments executive Council is responsible for the day-to-day executive policies and political activities of the Sámi Parliament. It serves as the parliament`s `cabinet` that both initiates items for discussion and implements political decisions. The Executive Council governs as long as it has the confidence of the Sámi Parliaments plenary.
Read more about the Sámi Parliament:
For general questions about the Sámi Parliament and our work, contact:
Siv Eli Vuolab, head of the communications department, +47 78 47 41 19, + 47 951 68 927