Sami parliament underway


Sami who live in Norway voted for members of parliament last month.

The 39-member Sami parliament is elected from 13 districts in Norway. They meet four times a year, with each session lasting five days.

As an elected body, the parliament Samediggi can’t pass new laws or change existing legislation, and it plays solely an advisory role to the Norwegian government on all issues affecting the 50,000-60,000 Sami who live in Norway.

Last week the newly-elected Sami parliament held its first session, during which the role of the Sami language came up for heated discussion.

One member, Janos Trosten, said the Sami parliament has degenerated into an arena for Norwegian speakers only because information is sometimes not available in Sami and discussions are often held in Norwegian instead of Sami.

Others then accused Trosten of discriminating against those who have lost the Sami language.

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