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Sami cultural policy

The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation has overall responsibility for the coordination of national Sami policy. The Ministry of Culture has sectoral responsibility for Sami art and culture.

The Ministry of Culture’s responsibility for Sami art and culture

The Ministry of Culture has overall responsibility for cultural policy in Norway.

In recent decades, the Norwegian authorities have based Sami policy on the principle that Sami people should have real influence over matters relevant to them. In 2019, a new budget mechanism was introduced whereby allocations to the Sami Parliament in the fiscal budget are now grouped as a single budget item under the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation. The Ministry of Culture retains sectoral responsibility for Sami art and culture.

The Ministry of Culture administers the Government’s Sami policy in the cultural field, including through participation in start-up and building projects involving Sami cultural buildings and through grants for a range of Sami initiatives in the cultural sphere.

The grant recipients include collective remuneration schemes for Sami artists, Sami newspapers, Sami films, Sami archives and Sami sport. In addition, several recipients of grants/allocations from the Ministry of Culture also administer tasks and activities focused on Sami art and culture. These include the National Library of Norway, the Arts Council Norway and museums in the national museums network.

For a complete overview of allocations for Sami purposes, please see the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation’s annual publication on grants for Sami purposes through the fiscal budget.

Sami artists and cultural institutions can apply for funding for different initiatives and projects through the Sami Parliament’s grant schemes, as well as other national support schemes, including some run by the Arts Council Norway.

A number of international conventions relating to minorities and indigenous peoples protect Sami language and culture. The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation has been given responsibility for coordinating the Government’s implementation of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of 5 November 1992.

The website of the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation contains further information on the basis for and main principles of the Government’s Sami policy.

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