Sametingspresidentens tale til det 18. Barentsråds møte

Sametingspresident Silje Karine Muotka holdt sin tale til det 18. Barentsråds møte i Tromsø 26. oktober 2021.

Giitu bovdejumis, ja buorre iđit, ráhkis verddet!  Lea fas buorre deaivvadit! Ja mis lea dál Sámi giellavahkku, čalmmustahttiit sámegiela mii lea divrras giellan midjiide ja dárbbaša ollu veahki ceavzit ja ahtanuššat.

Good morning, to all of you!Sametingspresident Silje Karine Muotka

Ministers, Governor, Indigenous Peoples, Dear friends!

It is a pleasure for me, to welcome all of you to Sápmi, the homeland of the Sámi people. I hope you will have a great time her in Tromsø, or Romssa as it is called in the Sámi language. The Sámi language is a living language. This week we have had the official opening of Giellavahkku, the Sámi Language Week. A language week that is initiated by all tree Sámi Parliaments.  

Romssa has been traditionally and still is an important gathering place for Sámi’s. There is a relatively high number of Sámi’s living in here. In addition, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway has many Sámi students. The university, and other institutions are important both for Sámi and Indigenous research, education, and knowledge production.

Romssa also has a strong connection with reindeer husbandry, which has been in the area since historic times. The reindeer husbandry in Romssa is located on the mainland and on the islands outside of the city. Sea-Sámi fishing in the fjords in this area is also a important part of our history and identity. And climate change is our common challenge. But we must safeguard human rights when we Are facing these challenges. Indigenous peoples must be heard and our languages and cultures must be strengthened.

One common challenge in the Barents region is to secure that we have capacity and human resources. 

- We need to make sure that people will stay in the Barents region

- We need to make sure that people will move back to the Barents region

- We need to make sure that people who are moving to our areas, that they will stay here for living  

So how can we solve this situation? In a digital world we are still learning the possibilities that the new technology offers us. But life is only part time job. We have to have excellent basic services. The best schools, the best health care and cultural possibilities. And I believe that housing politics is a key solution for us. These discussions are important, and I look forward participating in these discussions.

I would like to thank Norway for their chairmanship in this difficult Covid-19 period. For the population in Troms and Finnmark County and in Sápmi generally, the interconnection in the region has been heavy affected. We are in touch on a daily basis. We must use these experiences and develop the interconnection so that we can manage together all the unexpected situations.

I hope that people-to-people contacts and extra focus on Indigenous Peoples and the youth involvement will continue in the future. The 3rd Barents Indigenous Peoples’ Summit in June this year was an important meeting. The Youth Summit today and the meaningful engagement with youth across the Barents region, both support and inform our work and empower the youth. I strongly support such a youth cooperation.

I am also happy that the International Barents Secretariat is strengthened with Indigenous and Youth Adviser


The Sámi Parliament are happy that Finland will chair the Barents Euro-Arctic Council for the next period. We are sure that the Sámi Parliament at the Finnish side of the boarder will be involved in a good and constructive way.

Thank you for the attention. Ollu giitu!

Silje Karine Muotka

The President of the Sámi Parliament