December 20, 2018

Indigenous Sami People - Yet Another Assault On Indigenous Peoples' Way of Life


A group of about 140,000 Indigenous People that populate the northernmost regions of Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Russia.  As in above the Arctic Circle northern.  The Sami of Norway number about 50,000.  About 10% earn their living by raising and herding reindeer as Sami ancestors did centuries ago.  When the reindeer are harvested, every part of the reindeer is harvested and used:  meat, hide, and antlers.

Norwegian Sami Jovsset Ante Sara feeding his reindeer.
Photo credit:

As with many Indigenous People, the Sami have been cruelly treated at times throughout history.  According to a recent article in the New York Times, (read it here):
"The Sami were colonized by Christian missionaries, forced to abandon their shamanistic ways and assimilate. Grim tales of Sami children being sent to boarding schools and studied by anthropologists in dehumanizing ways remain a stain on the history of the Nordic nations."
And human rights abuses against the Norwegian Sam continue today.

The latest issue jeopardizing the Sami's way of life?  The Norwegian government wants to effectively end the Sami's reindeer herding, by forcing reductions in herd sizes that would effectively make the Sami's ancestral lifestyle economically unfeasible.

Reason?  The Norwegian government has concerns that the land is being 'overgrazed' by the reindeer herds.  With no additional explanation.

That's just plain crazy thinking.  Overgrazing land the sits above the Arctic Circle?

As shown by the photos and video on the New York Time's article, the reindeer are clearly healthy and well taken care of.  For the Norwegian government to attempt to wipe out a centuries old way of life for the Sami is yet another black eye on the world's centuries old cruel treatment of many Indigenous People.  

Cruel and inhuman treatment that sadly continues today.  And which is wrong on so many levels.  Plain wrong.

About Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides tax, insurance consulting, employee benefit plan consulting, and expert witness services to clients throughout the United States.  For more information visit

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1 comment:

  1. Reindeer meat is very good not as gamey as venison.


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