The Arctic railroad has become a hot topic both in Finnish Sápmi – the Land of the Finnish Sámi – and elsewhere in Finland. Local people in the region of Inari see that the rail line will involve both threats and opportunities.
Last autumn, the Government of Finland decided to start preparing a reconciliation process dealing with Sámi issues. The process took its first steps on the 10th of February in Inari, when a seminar was held on what the reconciliation process has looked like in different parts of the world.
Once more, local people are planning to start a water bottling plant near Sulaoja Spring in Karigasniemi in the municipality of Utsjoki in Finland. Land protection authority Metsähallitus rejected the last application in May 2017.
The warm sealskin products are easy to sell in the cold conditions of the Arctic. The material would also be available in Finland, but, because of an EU ban against seal trade, only sealskin from Greenland can be traded.
The Sámi Parliament and the Parliament of Finland have started revising the Act on Sámi Parliament, after two years of waiting. “We Sámi have great expectations”, says parliament president Tiina Sanila-Aikio.
The reindeer herding cooperatives that graze their reindeer in the old forests of Inari criticize the state-owned forestry company Metsähallitus Metsätalous Oy for not following the logging plans they have agreed on.
A local conservation association in the municipality of Inari, Finland, wants to restrict the construction of cabins on the shores of Lake Inari, and proposes that the great lake and its surroundings is made a national park.