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.

Christina Henriksen

Victoria Guseva

Head of Delegation (for SAO meetings)

Gunn-Britt Retter

Head of Arctic and Environmental Unit
+47 994 90 344

The Secretariat
Sámiráđđi /Saami Council
Postbox 162
N-9735 Kárášjohka / Karasjok
+47 9750 8854

Featured Projects

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Meaningful Engagement of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Marine Activities

Compiling and analyzing existing documents and summarize stheir main aspects, principles, and processes for engagement of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
Mikko Kytokorpi - Salmon

Salmon Peoples of Arctic Rivers

Assessing freshwater river systems based on traditional knowledge

Indigenous Youth, Food Knowledge and Arctic Change (EALLU) II

Developing a sustainable and resilient reindeer husbandry in the Arctic in face of climate change and globalisation, working towards a vision of creating a better life for circumpolar reindeer herders...

Solid Waste Management in Small Arctic Communities

Providing in-person and online resources to address the unique needs of Arctic communities, from planning to implementation of solid waste management practices.

Local 2 Global

Circumpolar collaboration for suicide prevention and mental wellness
Photo: Hjalti Hreinsson

Gender Equality in the Arctic

An international collaborative project focusing on gender equality in the Arctic