Adopt a reindeer

Adopt a reindeer: Save Jovsset Ante Sara’s herd from forced slaughter

Please sign the petition below.

Please donate to help Jovsset Ánte Sara raise funds to bring his case to the UN Commission on Human Rights . Your donation will help to cover legal fees as well as fines that have been levied against Jovsset Ánte Sara for defying the order to slaughter his herd.

In addition to giving on this website, here is another easy way to make donations to support the cause of Jovsset Ánte Sara and Saami reindeer herding in Norway. You can make donations by using the VIPPS app (available in Norway). VIPPS til/ VIPPS to 507150

The Norwegian state, proud of its high standards for human rights, forces the Sámi indigenous people to slaughter their reindeer, bringing young herders with small herds to bankruptcy. Young Sámi reindeer herders, the fragile link for passing on the tradition, are forced away from their traditional livelihood, culture and inherited rights.

Sustainable reindeer herding is a crucial element of Sámi culture in the European Arctic. Forced culling of the Sámi people's reindeer is imposed for so-called environmental reasons and presumably to protect the land for future reindeer herding. At the same time, the Norwegian state expropriates ever more Sámi land for development purposes and industries such as oil, gas, and mining. Overlooking these severe ecological threats to the environment and the Arctic pastures, the Norwegian government forces financially unsustainable slaughter upon reindeer herders. Those who refuse to slaughter their herds face tremendous daily fines, leading to bankruptcy, and are thereby forced out of their traditional livelihood, culture and inherited rights.
The young herder Jovsset Ánte Sara has legally challenged the imposed culling. He has twice won on the grounds of human and indigenous rights. In an appeal, the Norwegian Supreme Court judged in favor of the state, deciding that the state knows better what is good for the Sámi than they do themselves. Sara has sent his case to the UN Commission on Human Rights. While the fate of Jovsset Ánte's herd and livelihood has been sent to the UN Commission, the Norwegian government ignores the future outcome of the case and is now forcing him to slaughter his herd by December 31st 2018. The decision will strip a young Sámi of his internationally recognized indigenous and human rights and will bring dramatic negative impact not only on his personal economy and health, but also on the general legal standards for Sámi reindeer herders.

Download more detailed information here .
See the facebook page ProtectSami .
Read what the New York Times writes:
In Norway, Fighting the Culling of Reindeer With a Macabre Display 
For factual information visit the Pile o Sápmi  facebook page.

Stop the slaughter of Jovsset Ánte's herd until the UN Commision on Human Rights has given its verdict in his case. Stop destroying the lives and culture of the indigenous Sámi people. Urge the Norwegian government to refrain from destructive politics and laws towards their indigenous people.

Please sign the petition  and forward it:

" We, citizens from all over the world, are concerned about the treatment of indigenous Sámi people in Norway, concerning their rights, culture wellbeing. We ask the human rights of Sámi reindeer herders to be respected, that the cultural rights of the Sámi people, their livelihoods and society are respected, that Sámi reindeer herders health is ensured according to international human rights and that laws and politics regarding Sámi livelihoods permit their people and culture to survive. We urgently ask you to refrain from fines and further reindeer slaughter commands against Jovsset Ánte Sara and other Sámi reindeer herders, at least until the UN Commission on Human Rights has reached a decision in Jovsset Ánte Sara's case. "


Here is an interactive advent calendar dedicated to the cause of protecting Sámi reindeer herding. This is a collective effort created by Elin Már, Anders Sunna in collaboration with the web designer/graphic designer Rob Pentha, and all contributing artists.

Read this inspiring speech delivered by Elin Már Øyen Vister in the main square in Tromsø, Norway on December 6 at a demonstration to support Jovsset Ánte Sara and protect the future of Sámi reindeer herding.

[Translated into English; original text in Norwegian follows]

I don’t know whether you noticed
but I almost got trampled
almost crashes down on me
and I almost crash down on you
Let us begin to support one another
because I think that is the way it is
that we are encircled by
the vault of heaven

Niilas Holmberg

Thank you to everyone who has come.

A strong alliance – that is what we need – we are inspired by the Alta campaign. I bring warm greetings from Máret Ánne and Jovsset Ánte who would have liked to be here but Jovsset Ánte is under a lot of pressure and they have to focus on taking care of the home front.

Overgrazing in Finnmark, this is what the State claims to be their motive for setting in motion the forced slaughter of Jovsset Ánte Sara’s reindeer. There has been no establishment of 200 reindeer as the minimum to keep a young reindeer herder afloat as he sets himself up in a fragile traditional trade, and that is a tragedy. A lower limit would have been established if the State had listened to the Sámi herders, to the Sámi Parliament, and to the Norwegian Federation of Sámi Reindeer Herders (NRL). This is similar to the pitiful policies concerning fishing quotas; it costs an arm and a leg for a young person to get a fishing quota. How will we get young people to the primary industries that way? This is as bad as it gets in politics. It is inhumane of the State and the current government to allow this kind of pressure to be put on a young man. It is unnecessarily brutal and we have to tell the Agriculture Department that enough is enough! A State that is about to enter into a reconciliation process should be humble, it shouldn’t use force to set a precedent. The State’s idea of what constitutes sustainable reindeer herding is the main cause of overgrazing in the places where that has happened. It seems to me that this is how it works. They, that is the Agriculture Department under the leadership of the sitting government, are conducting a re-examination of Sámi assessments and methods, with the assumption that their “Norwegian” ideas are better. This is a hierarchical top-down attitude which is, well, simply colonial. People are treated like children who don’t know any better. The recommendations of the Sámi reindeer herders, of the Sámi Parliament, and of the Norwegian Federation of Sámi Reindeer Herders are ploughed under by the State’s scientific reports and opinions. What about the strain the State is putting on the reindeer grazing lands by giving away land through licenses given to various industries? Does that promote good grazing? When traditional reindeer herding is pressed into a capitalist economic model and an agribusiness mindset and practices with EU rules and “Norwegian” standards, what gets lost is the rights of the Sámi people to their own methods dictated by traditional Sámi know-how. These are the methods that have worked in harmony with the landscape, with the animals and people for thousands of years. Like for example the ancient know-how about how a proper herd is structured, as described in this article. Herds made up of does (female reindeer) and the slaughter of calves are not part of traditional Sámi reindeer herding, they belong to reindeer herding under colonization. Very large herds are not part of the tradition either. Giving subsidies for the slaughtering of calves, as is done today, does not belong to the Sámi tradition. The State talks about animal welfare in relation to overgrazing in this case. Of course animal welfare should always be a primary concern. But animal welfare should mean making sure that there is enough space for the reindeer, rather than using it up for windmills, mines, infrastructure, weekend cottages, roads, etc. We run out of grazing lands when they are fragmented and taken away. The slaughter of calves using a mobile slaughterhouse and transport is not animal welfare. Animal welfare is not served by running over and killing reindeer with trains because not enough fences have been set up along the Nordland train route (because it is cheaper to replace animals than to put up fences). Animal and human welfare go hand in hand with the welfare of nature. This is something that the State does not understand. That they have never understood. Faced with a vicious State we are mobilizing in order to support Jovsset Ánte Sara and his family, including Máret Ánne Sara and their reindeer herd. Let the animals live! Let reindeer herding live! And let us continue to protect Repparfjorden Nása fjall! Together we are strong.

 In Original Norwegian:

jeg veit ikke om du merket det
men jeg ble nesten nedtråkket
velter nesten over meg
og jeg velter nesten deg
La oss begynne å støtte hverandre
for jeg tror det er slik
at vi to er omkranset av

Niilas Holmberg

Takke alle som er kommet Sterk allianse - de e det vi trenger - vi ser til Alta aksjonen. Skal sende en varm hilsen fra Máret Anne og Jovsset Ant esom skulel ønske de kunne være her men JA e sterkt pressa og de må konse på hjememfronten Overbeite på Finnmarksvidda, er det staten mener er deres grunnlag for å igangsette tvangslakt av også reinen til Jovsset Ánte Sara. At det ikke er satt en nedre grense på 200 for å beskytte unge reindriftsutøvere som er på vei inn i en skjør tradisjonsnæring, er en tragedie.Denne nedre grensa ville vært på plass dersom staten hadde lyttet til reindriftsamer, Sámediggi/Sametingen, og NRL (Norske reindriftsamers Landsforbund). Det er litt sånn samme håpløse politikk som kvoter i fisket; at det skal koste skjorta å få en fiskekvote for en ung person. Hvordan skal vi få unge folk i primærnæringer da ? Det er helt bånn i bøtta politikk. Det er umenneskelig av Staten og dagens regjering å tillate et slikt press på en ung mann. Det er undøvending brutalt og vi må si ifra til Landbruksdepartementet at nå er det nok! En stat som skal på vei inn i en forsoningsprosess bør være ydmyk; ikke staturere eksempler ved makt. Statens tanker om hva bærekraftig reindrift skal være er til og med hoved årsakene til at det noen steder er overbeite. For meg virker det sånn. De, Landbruksdepartementet styrt av sittende regjerning, overprøver samiske meninger og metoder med sine "norske" som skal være bedre. Det er en hierarkisk ovenfra og ned holdning som er ja akkurat, -den er koloniell. Man behandles som barn- man veit ikke bedre. Samiske reindriftsutvøvere, Sámediggi - Sametinget og Norske Samers Landsforbunds anbefalinger overkjører av statens vitenskapelige utredninger og meninger. Hva med statens press på reindriftsområder gjennom å gi vekk land gjennnom div konsesjoner til annen næring? Skaper det godt beite? Når den tradisjonelle reindrifta er blitt skvisa inn i en kapitalistisk økonomimodell og et landbruksindustrielt tankesett og praksis med EEC/EU regler og "norske" standarder, mister man bruksrett på egne metoder altså tradisjonell Samiske metoder/kompetanse. De metodene som har spilt på lag med landskap, dyr og folk i tusener av år. Som feks denne eldgamle kompetansen om hvordan en god flokk er sammensatt (Se artikkel) som beskrives i denne artikkelen. Simleflokker og kalveslakt er ikke opprinnelig samisk reindrift, det er kolonisert reindrift. Veldig store flokker er heller ikke det. Å gi tilskudd til kalveslakt som gjøres per idag feks, er ikke samisk tradisjon. Fra statens hold har det vært snakk om dyreveldferd i relasjon til overbeite i denne saken. Dyrevelferd skal såklart alltid stå i fokus. Dyreveldferd vil være å sørge for at det er nok areale til rein og reindrift, at det ikke slukes av vindkraft, gruver, infrastruktur, hytter og veier osv. Det blir ikke nok beite når områder for beite fragmenterers og mistes. Kalveslakt med slaktebil og slakteri transport er ikke dyrevelferd. Dyrevelferd er ikke togpåkjørsler pga manglende gjerder langs Nordlandsbanen (fordi det er billigere å erstatte dyr enn å sette opp gjerder). Dyre og menneskevelferd / og naturens velferd henger sammen. Det forstår ikke staten. Det har de aldri forstått. I møte med en rå stat mobiliserer vi for å støtte oppom Jovsset Ante Sara, hans familie ink. Maret Anne Sara og reinflokken. La dyra leve! La reindrifta leve! Og la oss fortsette å beskytte Repparfjorden Nása fjall osv samla! Sammen e vi sterke

Yesterday, December 11, the Norwegian Parliament failed to support a motion to stop the forced slaughter of Jovsset Ánte Sara’s herd. The Norwegian State intends to enforce the directive to slaughter the reindeer and refuses to wait for the hearing by the UN Commission on Human Rights.
Yesterday Máret Ánne Sara delivered a petition with 5000 signatures to the Norwegian Parliament and she bravely debated the issue with the Norwegian Minister of Agriculture. You can view the debate here :
Speech read at the demonstration in support of Jovsset Ánte Sara in Tromsø, December 6, 2018
Introduction to Radiokino demonstration for Jovsset Ánte
Read by Eva Maria Fjellheim, radio producer
[English translation; Norwegian original follows]

What does listening actually mean? Does it mean inviting someone to speak and then disrespecting what they have to say? If you do not understand the information someone cites, does that mean that you are right?

If we are to learn, we must listen. We must sit ourselves down, lean back, and take in the words that we hear. Only then can we understand what the other person has to tell us. And when we listen to each other, then perhaps we can learn something and come to a new understanding together, and this will lead to new ideas and thoughts.

It is the person who tells a history that owns it, but we can be invited to try to understand it and spread the word.

Last year we celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the first Sámi National Congress in Tråante (Trondheim). Finally we came face-to-face with an icon of not only Sámi politics, but also feminism, namely Elsa Laula Renberg.

Many people were inspired by the meeting in Trondheim and Elsa Laula. For us this was the inspiration to create a radio documentary. It was titled “Across the Sámi Lands in Elsa Laula’s Footsteps”, and it has been produced exclusively by women. The main narrators are Sámi women from all of Sápmi (the Sámi lands), women of various ages and with various backgrounds and political attitudes.

Because Elsa Laula was not alone, she was one of many. Elsa Laula is many people.

We have followed one of these people, Máret Ánne Sara, who has taken up the battle for her brother Jovsset Ánte and his future, the future of our people. Through her art project “Pile o Sápmi”, she has managed to attract great attention, both at home and abroad. Her artistic activism has not only been an important symbol for this particular court case, but also for the many battles that are being waged in Sápmi today, battles against incursions into our grazing lands.

We followed Máret Ánne when she hung up 400 reindeer skulls in the form of a curtain in front of the Norwegian Parliament, “that infernal Norwegian Parliament”, as she calls it.

You will now hear a short excerpt from the episode that is titled “400 reindeer skulls, 400 bullet holes”. It is dedicated to the battle being fought by Máret Ánne and her brother, and to all of the battles being fought all around Sápmi.

Let us listen.

 Intro Radiokino markering Jovsset Ánte

 Hva betyr det egentlig å lytte? Betyr det å invitere noen til å snakke, for så å ikke respektere det som blir sagt? Hvis du ikke forstår en annens kunnskap, betyr det at du har rett?

 Skal vi lære, må vi lytte. Vi må kanskje sette oss ned, lene oss tilbake, og ta inn over oss de ordene vi hører. Det er først da vi kan forstå hva den andre har å fortelle oss. Og ved å lytte i fellesskap, kan vi kanskje lære og forstå noe nytt sammen, og det åpner opp for nye tanker og refleksjoner. 

 Det er den som forteller historien som eier den, men vi kan bli invitert inn og forsøke å forstå den og formidle den.

 I fjor feira vi 100 års jubileumet for det første samiske landsmøtet i Tråante. Endelig ble vi møtt med, ikke bare et samepolitisk, men et feministisk ikon, nemlig Elsa Laula Renberg.

 Mange ble nok inspirert av Tråante og Elsa Laula. For oss ble denne inspirasjonen til en radiodokumentar. Den fikk navnet I Elsa Laulas fotspor gjennom Sápmi, og er produsert utelukkenda av og med kvinner. De bærende fortellerstemmene er samiske kvinner fra hele Sápmi; Kvinner i ulike aldre og med ulike bakgrunner og engasjement.

 For Elsa Laula var ikke én, hun var mange. Elsa Laula ér mange.

 Én av dem vi har fulgt, er Máret Anne Sara, som har tatt opp kampen for broren Jovsset Ántes fremtid, familiens fremtid, vårt folks fremtid. Gjennom kunstprosjektet Pile o Sápmi har hun klart å vekke enorm oppsikt, også utover de nasjonale grensene. Hennes kunstaktivisme har ikke bare blitt et viktig symbol for denne ene rettssaken, men også de mange kampene som kjempes i Sápmi i dag; kampen mot inngrep i våre beiteområder,

 Vi fulgte Máret Anne mens hun hang opp 400 reinskaller som et teppe foran det norske stortinget, «det forbaska norske stortinget», som hun selv sier.

 Dere skal nå høre et lite utdrag fra episoden som har fått navnet “400 reinskaller, 400 kulehull”. Den er dedikert til Máret Anne og hennes brors kamp, og alle de kampene vi kjemper rundt omkring i Sápmi.

 La oss lytte.

 Eva Maria Fjellheim, radio producer
Speech delivered by Elle Mari Dunfjell Oskal from the Sámi Student Organization of Northern Norway

[in English translation; Norwegian original follows]

The Sámi Student Organization of Northern Norway Supports Jovsset Ánte!

On behalf of the Sámi Student Organization of Northern Norway, I want to show our support for Jovsset Ánte and the battle he is waging in order to promote the rights of the Sámi so that we can survive as a people.

The Sámi Student Organization of Northern Norway held a three-day weekend celebration on the occasion of its 35th anniversary this fall. Sámi young people, students and alumni, gathered here in Tromsø for the weekend. We saw that we have many kinds of Sámi people in the Sámi Student Organization of Northern Norway. We have Reindeer-herding Sámis, Coast Sámis, River Sámis, City Sámis, and others. From all of the Sámi lands, from South to North, both from Norway and from neighboring countries. Regardless of where we come from or what places we call home, we all want to have a future in which Sámi culture, language, and traditions continue to live among us. We want to have the opportunity to pass these things on to future generations.

Jovsset Ánte, who is fighting against the Norwegian State in order to live his life as a Reindeer-herding Sámi, is a role model for us all. For many years now he has been in the forefront and been a symbol of the many battles that the Sámi people have to fight for our rights to live, for our culture and our traditions. Sámi parents fight for Sámi day-care facilities and Sámi language instruction in schools. There are battles for our right to be heard and there are battles to reduce pollution of the environment.

How can the State give the green light, say that there is space for a copper mine in the Jovsset Ánte’s district, yet at the same time say that there isn’t space for the reindeer that were there first? What sort of logic is the State using when they claim that the mine won’t do any ecological damage, while at the same time they assert that the grazing of reindeer is damaging the environment?

We Sámi students want to have a Sámi future! That is why we ask the authorities and society at large to educate themselves about our culture and way of life. So that the politicians, lawyers, and bureaucrats of today and tomorrow will have a better understanding, so that they will recognize that, among other things, the Reindeer-herding Sámis, who have pursued sustainable reindeer herding for hundreds of years, are the ones who know best how to pursue sustainable reindeer herding in the future too.

We need strong people who will stand up for themselves! People who stand up for themselves will not be left standing alone in this fight! This is why we support Jovsset Ánte, and all others who are in the same situation. We stand together with him and ask the State first and foremost to delay the forced slaughter until the UN Commission on Human Rights has delivered their opinion on the case. We also ask for changes in the unreasonable regulations in the Reindeer-herding Law that has put Jovsset Ánte and others in this unfair position.

We, the Sámi students, also support Jovsset Ánte!

Thank you!

SSDN doarjja Jovsset Ánttii / SSDN støtter Jovsset Ánte!

På vegne av SSDN - Sámi studeantasearvi Davvi-Norggas / Samisk studentforening i Nord-Norge vil jeg her vise vår støtte til Jovsset Ánte og kampen han tar for å fremme samers rettigheter slik at vi kan overleve som et folk.

SSDN - Samisk studentforening i Nord-Norge feiret 35 år i høst med en tredagers jubileumshelg. Denne helgen samlet samisk ungdom, studenter og tidligere studenter her i Tromsø. Vi ser at i SSDN, har vi mange slags samer. Vi har reindriftssamer, sjøsamer, elvesamer, bysamer og flere. Fra hele Sápmi, Sør til Nord, på tvers av landegrensene. Uansett hvor vi kommer fra eller hvor vi har tilhørighet til, vil vi alle ha en fremtid hvor samisk kultur, språk og tradisjoner fortsatt lever med oss. Vi vil ha muligheten til å bringe disse videre til fremtidige generasjoner.

Jovsset Ánte, som kjemper mot Staten Norge, for å få leve sitt liv som ung reindriftssame, er et forbilde for oss alle. Han har nå i mange år, vært spydspissen og et symbol på samenes mange kamper om våre rettigheter til å leve i vår kultur og tradisjoner. Samiske foreldre kjemper for samiske barnehager og språkundervisning på skolen. Det kjempes for vår rett til å bli hørt, og det kjempes for mindre naturforurensing.

Hvordan kan Staten gi et grønt lys, og si at det er plass til en kobbergruve i distriktet til Jovsset Ánte, og samtidig som de sier at det er ikke plass til reinen - som var der først? Hva er logikken i at Staten mener at denne gruva ikke vil skade økologien, mens det samtidig hevdes at reinbeiting sliter på naturen?

Vi, samiske studenter, vil ha en samisk fremtid! Vi oppfordrer derfor myndighetene og storsamfunnet om å tilegne seg bedre kunnskap og kompetanse om vår kultur og levesett. Slik at dagens og fremtidens politikere, jurister og byråkrater har større forståelse – for blant annet at reindriftssamer, som har drevet med bærekraftig reindrift i flere hundre år, vet også best hvordan å drive bærekraftig reindrift i fremtiden.

Vi trenger sterke personer som sier ifra! De som sier ifra skal ikke stå alene i kampen! Derfor støtter vi Jovsset Ante, og alle de andre i samme situasjon. Vi slår ring om han, og ber Staten først og fremst avvente tvangstiltak til FNs menneskerettighetskommite har behandlet saken. Vi ber også om endringer av de urimelig bestemmelsene i Reindriftsloven som har ført han og andre i denne urettferdige posisjonen. Mii, sámi studeanttat maid doarjut Jovsset Ánte! Giitu!

Nature Conservancy Speaks Truth to Power: The State’s Arguments are Full of Holes

Speech delivered December 6, 2019 in main square in Tromsø by
Geir Jørgensen
Regional secretary for Northern Norway
Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature
[original Norwegian text follows this English translation]

Dear friends,
This is arrogant, incomprehensible, and unacceptable. We cannot let this stand.

Dear Jovsset-Ante,
First of all, I would like to deliver a greeting, and express full support for you and your family. From the local chapter of our organization in Avjovarri, and from Kautokeino where you and your herd spend your winters. And also from Kvalsund near Repparfjord, from our member Marion Palmer who watches the Fala-herd as they pass by on their migration each fall and spring. And from Hammerfest on Kvaløya, where you and your herd spend your summers, from Annie Henriksen, the Director of the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature in Western Finnmark.

We want you to know that we see you, and the fight that you are in. And we see with alarm, and with horror, how the Norwegian state, specifically the Department of Agriculture, is shamelessly using environmental arguments in order to force you out of reindeer herding. Environmental arguments, of all things. And we can show that these arguments don’t hold water – they have as many holes as a sieve – when we present environmental arguments for taking care of nature and for taking care of the reindeer grazing grounds precisely in the region that reindeer grazing district 20 Fala, and I will also name district 22 Fiettar, are dependent on.

Reindeer herding at an “ecologically sustainable level”, that’s what the state says. Right. After the Supreme Court ruling in this case a year ago, the Minister of Agriculture at the time, Jon Georg Dale from the Progressive Party, told NRK (the state broadcasting company): “This ruling means that we can continue to administer this business in an ecologically sustainable way”.

Right. The minister, the department, the government. It’s not so easy to say where we should begin here. Let’s start out in the ocean, in the fishing bank called Tromsøflaket, where no reindeer, for obvious reasons, have ever set down their hooves. A little pocket of oil was discovered there, later called the Goliat oil field, and this was the starting shot that was going to launch all kinds of big things here in the North. A drilling operation was set in motion, paid for by the state, and it was so massive that the cuttings, in other words the volume of stone and mud that is brought up when an oil drill does its job – those cuttings turned out to be an environmental problem. Those cuttings were so polluted, so full of petroleum and processing chemicals that they couldn’t be left out in the ocean. That mass of toxic substances, the waste from Goliat, had to be taken on land.

Where do you think this foul stuff was dumped? Up in the plateau where the reindeer are, in Kvalsund, at the Fala-herd’s traditional fall grazing grounds, the lands for the mating season, and the migration route, places that they have used from time immemorial. In Fiettar’s summer grazing grounds and calving lands. After all, the reindeer grazing grounds there had already been destroyed, it was a landscape of open craters ready to receive the waste products from the petroleum enterprise. After the last mine went bankrupt, what was left was a moonscape of blasted out sites in the grazing grounds. We have reports that confirm what the reindeer herders experienced there. What happened to the reindeer that wandered into that area when the copper mines were in operation. Yes, they got sick, they got pneumonia, got their lungs full of pulverized rock.

Now, today as we stand here, there is an application awaiting so-called processing, but actually just approval, by the Business and Fisheries Department, an application for an operating license in order to start up a new copper mine called Nussir. In the investigation from reindeer herding experts that is attached to this application, an investigation that the Department will most likely ignore when they make their decision, it says clear and simple that starting up a new operation will cause loss of calving grounds, migration campsites, fall and summer grazing grounds, mating land, et cetera for the two districts that are involved, namely Fala and Fiettar. This is what the state is going to allow, making an end run around all the legislation that we have, everything from paragraph 112 of the Constitution, to the Nature Diversity Act. And at the very same time they are slamming a single individual with their heaviest sledgehammer, driving at him with their principles, at a young man who is a reindeer herder, and using legal compulsion to drive him out of business.

Are there too many reindeer, or maybe too few reindeer, in the world? Are there too many or too few reindeer herders here in the North?

We can hold this question up in the air, we can leave it hanging here in the main square in Tromsø today. And beside it we can raise another question about what we have too little of or too much of here in the North, with just two words: Truth and reconciliation. What kind of truth can we agree on, reconcile ourselves to, when we see all the intrusions into nature that have already taken place? Rivers diverted into pipes, dams and regulated waters, where it is not safe for the reindeer migration. We see that there are roads that will be paved over and electric lines that will be built, windmill propellers that will whirl around on every mountaintop where it is possible, in order to get ourselves new, so-called green energy. And we have to include the fjord as well. Soon to be approved is that mine that will dump 30 million tons of sludge mixed with chemicals and heavy metals into Repparfjord. And now that we are raising questions, let’s include a number too. 98, 98 percent. In 2014 there was a Report to Parliament about reindeer herding, the same Report that has put Jovsset-Ante in the situation he is in now. In that same year business leaders, government ministers, investors, mayors, and municipal planners met at a conference called the Northern Norwegian Agenda. This is where they came up with this number, 98. 98 percent of our land and our part of the country, our nature, is unused, according to the opportunity study that was presented. All you have to do is to take as much as you want, invest, nearly all of this part of the country is unused. And at the very same time they go after reindeer herding with a compulsory measure, with a claim that the land is being used too much.

This is incomprehensible. It is unacceptable. We cannot let this stand!

Geir Jørgensen
Regionsekretær Nord-Norge.

Kjære venner
Dette er arrogant, det er uforståelig, det er uakseptabelt. Dette finner vi oss ikke i. 
Kjære Jovsset-Ante
Først av alt, så vil jeg overbringe en hilsen, og uttrykke full støtte til deg og din familie.  Fra vårt lokallag i  Avjovarri, og Kautokeino der du og flokken din har vinterhjem.  Og fra Kvalsund, ved Repparfjorden, fra vårt medlem Marion Palmer som ser Fala-flokken flytter forbi høst og vår. Og fra Hammerfest, Kvaløya, der du og flokken din har sommerhjem, fra Annie Henriksen, leder i Naturvernforbundet i Vest-Finnmark. 

Du skal vite det, at vi ser deg, i den kampen du står i. Og vi ser med forskrekkelse -  og forbannelse -  på at den norske stat, v Landbruksdepartementet  så skamløst tar i bruk miljøargumenter for å presse deg ut av reindrifta. Miljøargumenter, av alle ting.  Vi i Naturvernforbundet kan noe om miljøargumenter. Og vi konstaterer at  disse argumentene preller av - som vann på gåsa - når vi fremfører miljøargumenter for å ta vare på naturen ,for å ta vare på reinbeitene i akkurat dette området, som reinbeitedistrikt 20 Fala, og jeg vil også nevne 22 Fiettar, er avhengig av. 

Reindrift på et "Økologisk bærekraftig nivå" sier staten. Javel. Daværende landbruksminister  - fra Fremskrittspartiet - , Jon Georg Dale, sa  til NRK etter høyesterettsdommen i denne sak  for  ett år siden – Dommen betyr at vi også i fortsettelsen kan forvalte denne næringen på en økologisk bærekraftig måte

Javel statsråd. departement, regjering.  Det er ikke godt å si hvor vi skal begynne her.  La oss starte uti havet, ved  Tromsøflaket, der ingen rein, av naturlige årsaker,  har satt sin klauv. Der ble det påvist en liten oljeskvett som seinere ble til Goliat-feltet, selve startskuddet  for alt som skulle bli stort her nord,  og der ble det  igangsatt et boreprogram på statens bekostning,   så omfattende at borekaksen, altså den massen  av stein og mudder som kommer opp når oljeboret går rundt, viste seg å være et miljøproblem. Så forurenset, så full av olje og prosesskjemikalier var denne borekaksen at den kunne ikke være igjen ute i havet. Den giftige massen, avfallsproduktet fra Goliat måtte på land.  

Hvor tror dere dette svineriet ble dumpet ? Oppe i reinfjellet,   I Kvalsund, ved Fala-flokkens eldgamle høstbeiter, parringsland og flyttevei.  I Fiettar sitt sommerbeite og kalvingsland. Der var jo reinbeitene  ødelagt fra før, der sto det et landskap av åpne krater klart til å ta i mot avfallsproduktene fra oljeeventyret. Der står det igjen et månelandskap av bortsprengte reinbeiter etter siste  gruvekonkurs. Derfra har vi  rapporter som bekrefter  reineiernes erfaringer. Hvordan gikk det  med reinen som vandret i   området mens det var drift i kobbergruvene  Jo, den ble syk,  lungebetennelse og lungene full av steinstøv.  

Nå i dag, mens  vi står her, ligger det til godkjenning, såkalt behandling, i nærings og fiskeridepartementet søknad om driftskonsesjon for ny  oppstart av koppergruven Nussir.  I den reindriftsfaglige utredninga som følger denne saka, i utredninga som departementet mest sannsynlig vil se bort i fra når de tar sin beslutning, står det klart og tydelig at en oppstart, for de to berørte distriktene Fala og Fiettar,  vil medføre tap av kalvingsland, trekkleier, høst og sommerbeite, parringsland og så videre. Risikoen for sammenblanding av flokker vil øke, og presset vil bli større på omkringliggende beiteområder.  Dette vil altså staten tillate, og snor seg rundt det vi har av lovgivning,  alt i fra grunnlovens paragraf 112, til Naturmangfoldsloven. Samtidig, samtidig som de slår med den tyngste slegga og  rir prinspipper mot en enkeltperson i  reindriftsnæringa, en ungdom, og bruker tvangsparagrafer for å jage han ut.

Er det for mye - eller er det kanskje for lite - rein -  her i  verden?  Er det for mange, eller for få reineiere her nord? 

Vi kan la spørsmålet henge i lufta, Vi henger det opp her på torget i Tromsø i dag. Og så henger vi opp ved siden av det her spørsmålet  - om hva vi har for lite av og for mye av i nord -  to ord i tillegg. Sannhet - og forsoning.  Hva slags sannhet skal vi bli enige om -  forsone oss med, når vi ser alle de naturinngrep som allerede er gjennomført. Elver lagt i rør, demninger og regulerte vann, utrygge å flytte reinflokkene over. Vi ser det skal asfalteres veier og bygges linjer, snurre propeller, på hver eneste fjelltopp egnet til formålet,  å skaffe oss ny, såkalt grønn energi. Og vi må ta med fjorden. Snart godkjennes denne gruva som skal dumpe 30 millioner tonn, kjemikalieblandet, tungmetallholdig gruveslam ut i Repparfjorden.      Og når vi først er i gang å henge opp, så tar vi med et tall. 98,  98 prosent.  I 2014 kom stortingsmeldinga om reindrift, den som har ført Jovsset-Ante ut i denne situasjonen han er i. Samme år møttes næringslivstopper, statsråder, investorer, ordførere og kommuneplanleggere til konferansen Agenda Nord-Norge. Der kom dette tallet, 98. 98 prosent av vårt land og vår landsdel, vår natur,  er ubenyttet, ifølge den mulighetsstudien som ble presentert.  Her er det bare å forsyne seg, investere, her ligger nesten hele landsdelen ubenyttet. Og samtidig, samtidig går man altså inn i reindrifta med tvangstiltak, med påstand om at landet benyttes for mye.

Dette er uforståelig. Dette er uakseptabelt. Dette finner vi oss ikke i !  
Norway can ignore appeal from UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has formally agreed to hear a case concerning the destruction of grazing grounds used by South Sámi reindeer herders by Fosen Vind , a company that develops windmill parks. While the case is pending the UN Committee has requested a temporary halt in the building of a windmill park on Storheia, a mountain near Trondheim, Norway. Arvid Jamå, a South Sámi reindeer herder has been fighting since 2004 against the development of lands needed for reindeer husbandry in the Fosen district, where Storheia is located. A temporary stop to allow the UN time to come with a judgment is supported by Lars Haltbrekken (representative of the Socialist Left Party in Norwegian Parliament). However, Lawyer Marius Emberland from the Norwegian Attorney General’s office states that the Norwegian justice system is under no obligation to obey appeals from the UN, and Jon Gunnes (representative of the Liberal Party in Norwegian Parliament) sees no point in temporarily stopping construction. Fosen Vind’s Communications Director Torbjørn Steen claims that a delay in the construction of the Storheia windmill park  will have negative consequences both for that project and for other Fosen Vind projects.

[This is a summary of information presented in an article published in Adresseavisen 14.12.2018,

The story about Jovsset Ánte Sara has now been picked up by the New York Times. Please share!

No Scientific Reason to Reduce the Number of Reindeer

This is an unprecedented scandal, that such an extensive collective assault on people, livelihood, and culture is also completely without any basis in facts. Here is an excerpt from a story published in the Saturday edition of the Klassekampen  newspaper:

“It seems to me that no one cares about the facts, that various random reasons are cited for decreasing the land available for reindeer husbandry”, says Professor Tor A. Benjaminsen of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Benjaminsen’s research confirms the results found also by Professor Ivar Bjørklund , tracing a history of how various public authorities have treated reindeer husbandry as something that stands in the way of society’s progress.

The state’s own research (conducted by NINA, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research ) maintains over 50 stations where they monitor the condition of vegetation in the mountain plateau regions. Their numbers show no decline in the lichen mat or health of the pasture in general. Nor is it the case that the weight of reindeer at slaughter has decreased.

“These fact-based arguments haven’t made it into the mainstream public debate. There is no scientific ecological reason to reduce reindeer husbandry”, said Tor A. Benjaminsen to Klassekampen on Saturday.

[Norwegian original:]
Det er en skandale uten like at dette omfattende kollektive overgrepet mot mennesker, næring og kultur også mangler et faktagrunnlag. Fra lørdagens klassekampen:

- På meg virker det som om fakta ikke er så viktig, og det brukes vikarierende motiver for å få redusert reindriftens arealbruk, sier professor professor Tor A. Benjaminsen ved Norges miljø -og biovitenskapelige universitet. I likhet med professor Ivar Bjørklunds studier, viser også Benjaminsens forskning til at ulike instanser gjennom historien har forholdt seg til reindrift som noe som står i veien for samfunnets utvikling.

Statens egen forskning (Norsk institutt for naturforskning- NINA) har over 50 stasjoner der de måler vegetasjonens utvikling over vidda. Deres tall viser ingen nedgang i lavmattene og beitegrunnlaget generelt. Heller ikke slaktevekt går ned.

-Disse faktumentene har unnsluppet offentligheten. Det finnes ingen vitenskapelig økologisk bevis for å redusere reindriften, sier Tor A. Benjaminsen til Klassemkampen på lørdag.

We Can’t Accept the State’s Divide-And-Conquer Strategy – speech by Ánte Siri

[This is an English translation. The Norwegian original follows below.]

Many people have gathered here to stop the forced slaughter of Jovsset Ánte’s herd and to demand that the state delay the forced slaughter until the UN has completed its review of the case.

The fact that so many people have come here today shows that we are all affected by the injustice that faces Jovsset Ánte. The state has ordered him to slaughter his reindeer herd down to 75 animals before the New Year. That means the end of his life as a Sámi reindeer herder.

Jovsset Ánte has been fighting against the state and against forced slaughter for five years. The state put reindeer owners in competition with each other when they declared at there are too many reindeer and that the siida-communities are required to slaughter the herds down to a certain upper limit. If they can’t manage to agree on who will slaughter their herds, then everyone will have to slaughter the same amount.

At the same time when the number of reindeer are supposed to be reduced, electric transmission lines are being constructed, mining companies are getting licenses for prospecting and are promised permission to set up new operations. It is almost impossible to avoid drawing the conclusion that reindeer husbandry is being forced to make way for industry.

Jovsset Ante won two court cases. He contends that it is his right to herd reindeer, and that this right cannot be taken from him. If he has to reduce his flock to 75 reindeer, that will mean that he will be forced out of business entirely.

He lost his case in the Supreme Court. He couldn’t accept this ruling because it was equivalent to driving him out of business and therefore a clear breach of his human rights. He has sacrificed what he could and with considerable help has managed to bring his case to the UN Commission on Human Rights which will now hear his case.

But the state won’t wait. The state wants to impose a forced slaughter before the New Year. If he doesn’t comply there will be further measures. This case will have drastic consequences for Jovsset Ante, whereas delaying the forced slaughter would have no real consequences for the state. For this reason it seems especially unfair that they can’t wait until the UN has stated their opinion about whether or not this is a breach of human rights.

The NSR (Norwegian Sámi Association) recently passed a resolution at their national congress to urge the state to wait until the UN has heard the case before requiring Jovsset Ánte to slaughter his animals.

This is a clear example of a power play, depriving people of their right to decide for themselves. We cannot accept this behavior. The NSR must show their support for Jovsset Ánte and for the future of reindeer husbandry, so that it becomes clear that this “divide and conquer” strategy, which of course creates internal conflicts among the reindeer grazing districts, and is without precedent elsewhere in our democracy, -- that this is dishonest. We demand that the state wait for the UN’s decision in this case. If the state fails to respect the fact that there is an investigation underway into a possible breach of human rights, then it seems that the Norwegian state has no respect for the UN or for international human rights. That is very strange for a nation like Norway.

This is a question of prestige. This is a symbolic case and many people are watching.

Representatives of the Labor Party and the Socialist Left Party in the Norwegian Parliament say that they will take up this case in the Parliament. This case will also be addressed as an urgent issue in the Sámi Parliament and there is broad support for it. All of us who are here today, and all the organizations that are represented here today join in supporting Jovsset Ánte.

Det er mange som er samlet her for å stoppe tvangsslaktinga av flokken til Jovsset Ante Sara og for å kreve at staten stopper nedslaktinga fram til FN er ferdig med sin behandling av saken.

Det at så mange har kommet hit i dag viser at vi alle er berørt av den urettferdigheten som Jovsset Ante nå opplever. Han har fått pålegg fra Staten om å slakte reinflokken ned til 75 rein innen nyttår.  Det betyr også enden på livet som reindriftssame.

Jovsset Ante har i fem år kjempet mot staten og tvangsslaktinga. Staten satte reineierne opp mot hverandre når de erklærte at det er for mange rein og at siidaene må slakte ned til et øvre reintall. Men hvis de ikke klarte å komme til en enighet om hvem som må slakte ned, kommer de til å redusere likt for alle.

Samtidig som reintallet skulle reduseres bygges det ut kraftlinjer, gruveselskaper får både leterettigheter og det utloves konsesjoner. Det er nesten umulig å ikke trekke konklusjonen at reindriften må vike for industrien.

Jovsset Ante har har vunnet i to rettsinstanser. Han mener at han har like mye rett til å drive med rein, at det er hans rettighet som ikke kan tas bort. Ved å skulle redusere flokken sin til 75 dyr vil han i praksis være nødt til å slutte.

I høyesterett tapte han mot staten. Det kunne han ikke akseptere fordi det ville være ensbetydende med avvikling og dermed et tydelig brudd på menneskerettighetene han har. Han har derfor ofret det han kan og med god hjelp klarte han å løftet saken for FNs menneskerettskomité som nå skal behandle saken.

Men staten vil ikke vente. Staten vil at tvangsslaktinga skjer før nyttår. Hvis ikke ville det komme reaksjoner. Saken vil gi drastiske følger for Jovsset Ante, men en utsettelse av tvangsslaktinga vil i praksis ikke ha noen følger for staten. Derfor føles det ekstra urettferdig at man ikke engang kan vente til at FN har fått sagt sitt om dette er et menneskerettsbrudd.

NSR vedtok nylig på sitt landsmøte å arbeide for at Staten må vente på FNs behandling av saken, før de pålegger Jovsset Ánte å slakte.

Dette er en klar overstyring og maktdemonstrasjon. Denne måten å opptre på kan vi ikke akseptere. NSR må vise støtte til Jovsset Ánte og reindrifta i framtida, så at det kommer klart fram at en slik “splitt og hersk”-oppførsel, som naturligvis skaper indre strid i reinbeitedistriktene, ikke finnes maken til noen andre steder i vårt demokrati - dette er ikke redelig. Vi krever at staten venter på FNs beslutning i saka.

Når staten ikke respekterer at det pågår en gransking om mulig brudd på menneskerettigheter, og da virker det som staten Norge ikke har respekt for verken FN eller internasjonale menneskerettigheter. Det er spesielt i en nasjon som Norge.

Det har gått prestisje i dette. Det er blitt en symbolsak og det er det mange som ser.

Arbeiderpartiet og SV sin stortingsgruppe sier at de vil fremme saken på Stortinget. Det skal også opp som en hastesak i Sametinget og det er en bred gruppering som støtter det. Alle vi som er her i dag, og alle organisasjoner som er her i dag er med på å støtte Jovsset Ante.

Mii Doarjut Du!

Here is an English translation of Siri Broch Johansen's poem protesting the industrialization of Sámi lands. You can hear the author’s performance of the original Norwegian version behind window 13 of the WeWhoSupportJovssetAnte artists' calendar here:

Conclusion of a “conversation” Siri Broch Johansen 2018-11-08

It’s no park
It’s industry
Don’t fall for temptation, don’t decree
A park
The only one pleased is the next oligarch

It’s not green
It’s not lovely, got no sheen
It’s clay, good lord!, it’s toxic waste in our fjord
It’s grazing lands annihilated
It’s against everything God created

But you know what they always say:
We’re all together in progress, all have to give away
A little, ok, but why everything
What did we do to get such a sting
Why point at us, again and again
You’re our enemy, we thought you were a friend
You showed off your powerpoint, told what it’s all about
And those who didn’t agree, who dared to doubt
Got a whack on the back from that very progress
So you protest? What a damned mess
Everyone wants lights in their houses, more money to wallow
In, it’s human nature to command nature, to swallow
Everything they get their hands on, go ahead,
Don’t look back, don’t bother to tread
Show no courtesy.

It’s not a park,
It’s wilderness out here, you’re off the mark.

Bidjovagge Bjørnevatn Kiruna Kittilä Nikel Repparfjord Tana
Hulking mines leave gashes
the landscape all in slashes
Kiruna with the world’s strongest locomotive
lakes where fish no longer live
use up everything that we hold dear, and
to heck with what it costs to move a town to steal more Sámi land
While the sands of time are running out
And the wind on the water blows about
It lands in a wind turbine
That someone thinks is magical and fine
They multiply now, like rats, a pest
In the South, North, East, and West
Mostly North, they lurk in the mountains, huge hunks
They slice the air in chunks
Industrial farms, mines, no buffer,
The animals suffer
Kjøllefjord Kvaløy Rákkočearru
Ja dál áigot gáissiid váldit dát dušše vearru

You can’t make a park
Out here, you’re off the mark

But you guys buy so much yourselves, you do!
And you have mobile phones too!

We gave already, but they won’t stop
Not til the minerals are stripped, taking every last drop
Not til the last reindeer’s dead and gone
Collapsed behind a sacred sieidi stone
Not til everything’s gone without a trace
For what? This sick, sick money race

It was never possible to make a park
Out here, off the mark

Foto: Aslak Mikal Mienna
Norwegian original:
Sammendrag av «samtale». Siri Broch Johansen 2018-11-08
Det e ikke park
Det e industri
Aldri fall for fristelsen til å si
Den eneste du gleder da, e en kommende oligark

Det e ikke grønt
Det e ikke vakkert eller skjønt
Det e leire, det e jord, det e giftutslipp i våres fjord
Det e beiter som går tapt
Det e imot alt som Gud har skapt

Men du veit ka dem bruk å si:
Alle e med på fremskrittet. Alle må gi
Litt, ja, men korfor alt
Ka e det vi har gjort som e så galt
At det e oss det skal pekes på, igjen og igjen
Du e jo vår fiende, vi trodde du va en venn
Sånn hørtes du ut da du kom og snakka og viste fram powerpointfiler
Og alle som ikke va enig med dæ, enhver liten tviler
Fikk rapp over ryggen fra framskrittet sjøl
E du imot? For no jævla møl
Alle vil jo ha lys i husan og mere peng å bruke
Menneskets natur e å ta naturen, sluke
Alt man kommer over, bare peise på,
Ikke se tilbake, ikke nångang trå
Det e lite karsomt.

Det e ikke park
Det e utmark

Bidjovagge Bjørnevatn Kiruna Kittilä Nikel Repparfjord Tana
Gruver som ruver som sliter landskapet i biter
Kiruna med verdens sterkeste lokomotiv
fiskevann helt uten liv
bruk alt vi har kjært, og hiv
Ka koster det å flytte en by å stjæle mere samisk land
Mens tida renner ut i sand
Og vinden blåser over vann
og lander i en vindturbin
Som noen synes e magisk, fin
De yngler nå, som rottepest
I sør, i nord, i øst, i vest
Men mest i nord, lik oppdrett, gruver,
Der, på fjellet, ja, de ruver
De kutter luft i biter
Dyrelivet sliter
Kjøllefjord Kvaløy Rákkočearru
Ja dál áigot gáissiid váldit dát dušše vearru

Man lager ikke park
I utmark

Men dere kjøper jo så mye sølv!
Og mobiltelefoner har dere jo sjøl!

Vi har allerede gitt
Men de vil ikke stoppe før landet e mineralfritt
Ikke før den siste reinen
Segner om bakom seidesteinen
Ikke før alt e gravd opp
En syk, syk pengegalopp

Det har aldri vært mulig å lage park
I utmark

See this episode of the Norwegian TV news comedy quiz show “Nytt på nytt” (14.12.2018) in which
famous actress Liv Ullman is given a reindeer for her 80th birthday through our
Adopt a Reindeer campaign: 


  • Anonymous
    • kr100 
    • 4 yrs


Laura Janda

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.