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Norway and Finland: Protect Indigenous Saami salmon fishing rights - Stop Deatnu agreement!

Norway and Finland: Protect Indigenous Saami salmon fishing rights - Stop Deatnu agreement!

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This petition has been created by Aslak H. and may not represent the views of the Avaaz community.
Aslak H.
started this petition to
Parliaments of Norway and Finland
The states of Finland and Norway are trying to make the way of life of indigenous Saami salmon fishers illegal in Deatnu (Teno/Tana), the biggest Atlantic salmon river in Europe. Saami who live in the valley would lose 80 &percnt of the traditional fishing rights they currently have, while Saami who do not live permanently in the river valley, would be completely denied the right for this key cultural and subsistence practice. This would be destructive for this already endangered livelihood.

See a personal video statement on this matter at https&colon//youtu.be/H8ObcQnncf8

There is strong local opposition to the regulations, which is being completely overlooked by governments of Finland and Norway. Regulations would cut the majority of traditional Saami fishing rights, while giving new rights to non‐indigenous cabin owners in the area. Rights would be redistributed from Saami to others. Proposed regulations would make it impossible to continue the Saami livelihood of salmon fishing in all its diversity.

Salmon fishing is the foundation of river Saami culture and identity, and it is a way of life for the Saami in Deatnu valley. Salmon is the reason people have inhabited the area, and it is one of the key sources of food in this Arctic region. Disturbing Saami from fishing salmon in traditional ways threatens the continuation of river Saami culture and the transfer of the traditional knowledge to the next generations, putting also the food security of this area at risk.

The proposed act on salmon fishing in Deatnu is a clear violation of indigenous peoples’ right to self‐determination, and Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, or even consultation. All Saami during the negotiations opposed the proposed agreement, while Finland didn’t even negotiate with the Saami parliament on this matter. Norway did not even invite the local Saami fishing administration to the last negotiations.

The proposed act violates the Saami right to their culture, as is guaranteed in 17.3 § of the Finnish constitution, as well as Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights. It also violates Article 15.1 of ILO convention 169, which Norway has ratified and which guarantees the right for Saami to participate in the management of their natural resources. The fact that rights are taken from Saami and given to non‐indigenous cabin owners, is an act of racial discrimination, and therefore a breach of the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This act is as well strongly undermining the obligations both Norway and Finland have agreed to by ratifying the United Nations Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples, especially article 27.

Keeping sustainable salmon‐fishery is essential for Saami of the region, but it cannot happen by violating Saami rights to self‐determination and culture.

This act must be stopped from entering force, and new regulations on fishing in the river must be immediately negotiated with, and accepted by the local Saami community.

Posted (Updated )