Quick Facts

Finland, the Russian Federation, Norway and Sweden

Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Population
Estimated over 100,000


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The Saami Council’s core missions are to:

  • Promote Sámi rights and interests in the four countries where Sámi are living
  • Consolidate the feeling of affinity among the Sámi people
  • Attain recognition for the Sámi as a nation
  • Maintain the economic, social and cultural rights of the Sámi in the legislation of the four states

About the Sámi People

The Sámi people live in Sápmi, an area that stretches across the northern parts of Finland, the Russian Federation, Norway and Sweden. There are no available statistics on how many Sámi there are, but over 100,000 is the estimate that is used most often. The majority of the Sámi population lives in Norway. There are nine total Sámi languages spoken today.

The Sámi people traditionally made their living from reindeer herding, fishing, livestock farming and hunting. Since 1989, the Sámi in Norway have had their own elected assembly – the Sámediggi – which acts as a consultative body for the Norwegian government authorities.

Saami Council in the Arctic Council

The Saami Council collaborates with Arctic States, Working Groups and other Permanent Participants regarding circumpolar relations with regular contributions to Chairmanship work plans. The Saami Council has particular interest in environmental protection and sustainable development in the Arctic.

Áslat Holmberg

Gunn-Britt Retter

Head of Delegation to Arctic Council

The Secretariat

Sámiráđđi /Saami Council
Postbox 162
N-9735 Kárášjohka / Karasjok
+47 950 25 926

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