Activist Aslak Holmberg. Photo: Yle

Local people demand full self-determination over the Teno river system

A group of local protesters and activists does not accept that the states try to control fishing and the management of fisheries in the River Teno (Tana). They are now collecting signatures for their declaration.
July 12, 2017

Text by  Martta Alajärvi

 

Border river Teno (Tana)

The Tenojoki River is known as the Tana River in Norway and just Teno to many locals. It flows along Finland’s northernmost border with Norway through Norwegian Finnmark county and Finnish Lapland.

At the end of June, people who oppose the new Teno River Fishery Agreement gathered in Utsjoki to discuss how to continue their work against the agreement. Over 50 people attended the meeting.

«The Teno river system belongs to the local people, the Sámi, who have the right and obligation to determine, manage, take care of, study and administer their own waters and revenue,» the group called Ellos Deatnu! (Long Live the River Teno!) says.

The local people and other activists do not accept the states’ attempt to control fishing and the management of fisheries in the River Teno.

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«We don’t accept that states try to own and administer our lands and waters, the group continues.»

The meeting resulted in a declaration, in which the participants demand to have full control over the Teno river system. Áslat Holmberg, who chaired the open meeting, said that the group would start collecting more signatures in the declaration and try to get more support for the cause.

 The moratorium on the island Čearretsuolu supported by the local people

The group has also launched a moratorium on the island Čearretsuolu close to the bridge in Utsjoki. In this case, the moratorium means that the Ellos Deatnu! group will try to stop the new fishing regulations from being implemented in the area around the island.
Áslat Holmberg says that people will now stay on the island in lavvus, or Sámi tents, taking turns in keeping up the moratorium. The people attending the meeting also supported the moratorium: no one was against it.

 

DECLARATION AGREED UPON IN THE MEETING OF ELLOS DEATNU

  • The Teno river system belongs to the people of the area, and they have the right and obligation to determine, manage, take care of, study and administer their own waters and the revenue from the river system.
  • We don’t accept that states try to own and administer our lands and waters.
  • The Teno river system and the activities connected with it are not to be controlled by states.

 


This story is originally posted at Yle Sapmi and re-published as part of Eyes on Barents, a collaborative partnership between news organizations and bloggers in the Barents region.

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