Quick Facts

Finland, the Russian Federation, Norway and Sweden

Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Population


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The Saami Council’s core missions are to:

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

About the Saami Peoples

The Saami people live in Sápmi, an area that stretches across the northern parts of Finland, the Russian Federation, Norway and Sweden. Estimates of the Saami population vary between 50,000 and 80,000, with about half living in Norway. There are nine total Saami languages spoken today.

The Saami people traditionally made their living from reindeer herding, fishing, livestock farming and hunting. Since 1989, the Saami 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

Dr. Ellen Inga Turi

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

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

This project aims to maintain and further develop a sustainable and resilient reindeer husbandry in the Arctic in face of climate change and globalisation, working towards a vision of creating a bette...

Local 2 Global: Circumpolar collaboration for suicide prevention and mental wellness

Local 2 Global aims to facilitate international collaboration and connections between circumpolar communities working to prevent suicide and support the mental wellbeing of all Arctic youth and commun...
Photo: Hjalti Hreinsson

Gender Equality in the Arctic

GEA is an international collaborative project focusing on gender equality in the Arctic, beginning in 2013. Phase 3 of the project began in 2019.