Sami parliament campaign underway in Sweden

Sami flag. (Tommy Engman/Sveriges Radio)Campaigning for Sweden’s Sami parliament kicks off on Thursday. The parliament, based in the Arctic city of Kiruna, represents the interests of Sweden’s indigenous Sami people.

But its power is mainly focused on the reindeer herding industry.

Much of the debate in the coming campaign will focus on the parliament’s legitimacy as just a small proportion of Samis are eligible to vote.

The Samis’ right to access traditonal lands will also be high on the agenda with growing competition in the North from mining, windpower and other commercial interests.

“Another challenge will be to elevate Sami issues from the reindeer industry to indigenous rights,” says Inge Frisk from the Stockholm Sami Association.

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