Chair of the Arctic Council, Ministers, Permanent Participant Leaders, Excellences, brothers and sisters!
Sámi livelihoods, or industries, have traditionally been closely related to nature. We see today that our culture will be affected not only by climate change, but also by the impacts of the measures taken in response to it. It is essential to ensure that any decisions regarding climate change action benefit rather than harm Indigenous Peoples.
The cultural heritage sites of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic are important for self-definition and belonging. They tie the past to the present and they unify culture and nature. They form basis for cultural and creative industries. For art and tourism. It is important that the Indigenous peoples have the role as the main guardians of our cultural heritage. In Norway, the Sámi Parliament has achieved some authority in this respect. This has enabled us to take an active role for instance with regard to defining and promoting a site for the World Heritage List. In light of the current threats to Indigenous Arctic heritage sites, including thawing, shoreline erosion and increasing access, it is important that the Arctic Council include concern for Indigenous heritage in its future work.
Ollu giitu - Thank You!