Artikkel | Sist oppdatert: 25.05.2009 | Kommunal- og moderniseringsdepartementet
for the period ending 30. June 1998 in accordance with article 22 of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation, from the Government of Norway, on the measures taken to give effect to the provisions of the
CONVENTION NO. 169 INDIGENOUS AND TRIBAL PEOPLES CONVENTION, 1989,
ratification of which was registered on 19. June 1990.
In the period since the first report in 1993 and the reply to a Direct request in 1994, the Norwegian authorities have amended the Sami Act (No.56 of 12 June 1987).
Section 2-6, dealing with the Sami electoral register, has been amended to the effect that the objective criterion for requesting inclusion in the register has been extended to enable persons with a great-grandparent who had Sami as the language of the home to request inclusion in the register.
The justification for the amendment was that this would open the Sami community to persons living in parts of the country where the process of Norwegianisation had resulted in loss of the Sami language.
Further, a provision was added whereby children of persons who are or have be en included in the Sami electoral register can request inclusion in the register irrespective of the language criteria set out in section 2-6a and 2-6b.
The requirement as to self-identification as a Sami person remains a necessary subjective criterion for inclusion in the Sami electoral register and for having the right to participate in elections to the Sami Assembly.
Article 2,6 and 7
Since its last report the Government has presented its second white book on Norwegian Sami policy, viz. Report No.49 to the Storting (1996-97) and Report No.18 (1997-98 Supplement to Report No.49 to the Storting on Norwegian Sami policy). The Sami are declared to be an indigenous people on the Northern Cap, bound together by a common language, culture and history. Since Norway has the largest Sami population, and because of Norway's national and international obligations and its work for other minorities and indigenous peoples, Norway has a special responsibility for the development of the Sami language, culture and conditions of life.
Section 110a of the Constitution, added in 1988, requires the national authorities to ensure that the Sami people themselves have sufficient opportunity to strengthen their culture, their language and their community life and thereby shape the evolution of the Sami
community. Government policy is that this requires the Sami Assembly to be' given greater influence in matters of special significance to the Sami population. As from 1993 the Sami Assembly has administered several grant schemes for Sami purposes. The Government has stipulated that from 1999 onwards the Sami Assembly shall itself have the right to
prioritise and allocate appropriations made available by the Storting for such purposes. The Government has also established procedures entailing regular meetings with the Sami Assembly to discuss goals and priorities in the Government's budget proposals.
In order to improve coordination between the various ministries' efforts in the Sami policy sphere, the Government in 1997 appointed a state secretary to the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Affairs with special responsibility for Sami affairs. This was followed in January 1998 by the appointment of a state secretary committee drawing representatives from those ministries most involved in matters of significance to the Sami population.
We can report the following developments in the Ministry of the Environment’s, area of responsibility in the above period:
"Transfer of authority to the Sami Cultural Heritage Council
On 31 August 1994 the Ministry of the Environment adopted amendments to the provisions of the cultural heritage regulations that set out the distribution of responsibilities for protection of the Sami cultural heritage.
With effect from 1 September 1994 functions and authority in the field of protection of the Sami cultural heritage were as signed to the Sami Cultural Heritage Council. This Council had been appointed by the Sami Assemb1y in March 1994 to carry on the work of protecting the Sami cultural heritage.
Under the Cultural Heritage Act the Sami Cultural Heritage Council has the same authority and functions as regards protection of the Sami cultural heritage as the county municipality has as regards protection of cultural heritage in general.
The Central Office of Historic Monuments has the paramount responsibility for protection of the Sami cultural heritage, and is the appeals instance for decisions rendered by the Sami Cultural Heritage Council in accordance with the transfer of authority under the provisions of the Cultural Heritage Act.
The Sami Cultural Heritage Council's activities are currently being reviewed. The resulting report, which will be available in November 1998, will form the basis for the Ministry of the Environment's further collaboration with the Sami Cultural Heritage Council.
Convention on Biological Diversity
The Sami Assembly plays a part in following up the Convention on Biological Diversity through its participation in Norway's delegation at international fora where issues related to indigenous peoples are addressed. The Ministry of Environment considers this to be a highly positive and important activity for other indigenous peoples.
Please also see the description of Sami conditions in "Norway's National Report on Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity", published recently. A copy of
the text is enclosed.
Please find a recommendation from the Sami Fisheries Committee, dated 10 April 1997, together with the enclosed documents.
Re Part II Land
In January 1997, the Sami Rights Commission presented its second major report, «The Natural Basis for Sami Culture» ( «Naturgrunnlaget for samisk kultur» ) (NOV 1997: 4). The Commission' s report is based on three interim reports, «Rights to and Administration of Land and Water Resources in Finnmark» (NOV 1993:34), «Use and Administration of Land and Water Resources in Finnmark» (NOV 1994:21) and «Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples pursuant to International Law and Foreign Law> (NOV 1997:5). A commentary of the first of these reports was given in Norway's second report (report for the period ending 30. June 1994). The attention of the Committee is therefore drawn to the second report.
In its report, the Commission makes proposals inter alia for the future administration of land and natural resources in the whole of the County of Finnmark. In this connection, the report also contains a summary of several interpretations of Articles 14 and 15 of the Convention, in particular the interpretation of an Expert Group on International Law appointed by the Commission in 1995 to make a report on developments in international law since 1984 (see point 3 below). Based on these interpretations, and particularly on the interpretation of the Ex pert Group on International Law, the Commission has considered its proposals for the future administration of land in Finnmark in the light of the requirements of Part II of the Convention.
The Commission also makes proposals for procedural rules to be followed in connection with the development and exploitation of land and resources in areas used by the Sami.
We will briefly outline the proposals of the Commission concerning the administration of land in Finnmark (point 2), the interpretations of Article 14 and Article 15 that have been put forward (point 3), and the opinion of the Commission concerning the relationship between the proposals and the requirements of the Convention (point 4). The proposals for procedural rules in connection with the development and exploitation of land and resources in areas used by the Sami are briefly outlined in point 5.
We stress that the report of the Commission, has not yet been considered by the government. The report has been sent to interested parties and is available to the general public for their comments. A leaflet in Norwegian and Sami which gives a brief summary of the report, has been distributed to all households in Finnmark. A deadline for comments has been set at March 1999. After this date, the report, together with the first major report, will be considered by the Finnmark County Municipal Council and by the Sami Parliament and subsequently by the government.
2. The proposals of the Sami Rights Commission concerning the future
administration of the land and natural resources in the County of Finnmark
2.1 The Finnmark Land Administration Authority
As mentioned in previous reports, the Norwegian state purports to hold title to approximately 96 percent of the land areas in the County of Finnmark. At present, the land are as are administered by the state-owned Land and Forest Company through the Finnmark land sales office. The Sami Rights Commission proposes to establish a new authority ¬Finnmark Land Administration Authority- with responsibility for administering land areas and non-renewable natural resources in the County of Finnmark. In its reasons for the proposal, the Commission emphasises the benefits to be gained by a uniform administration of land employment in Finnmark. The Commission states that its proposals are based on a recognition that the Sami as indigenous peoples have a right to in Duence and participate in the administration of land and water areas in their habitats, but that their rights must accommodate the rights of the other inhabitants in the County .
The Commission proposes that title to all unsold land in the County of Finnmark shall be transferred to the Finnmark Land Administration Authority. The Authority shall be separate from the state-owned Land and Forest Company, and shall be independent of the central government administration. The degree of independence will vary depending upon which form of organisation for the authority is finally chosen. A majority of the Commission suggests that the Authority shall be organised as an independent legal entity completely separate from central government administration, but with representatives of the Sami Parliament, the Finnmark County Board and the government at its annual meeting. A minority of the Commission suggests the Finnmark Land Administration Authority should be a part of the central government administration but as an independent administrative authority.
The Authority shall have a board of eight members. Representation on the board shall reflect the different interests in the County. A majority of the Commission (14) proposes that Finnmark County Board and the Sami Parliament shall nominate four members each. A minority of the Commission (2) proposes that the Finnmark County Board shall nominate five members, and that the Sami Parliament shall nominate three.
The land areas and natural resources in the County of Finnmark shall be administered for the common benefit of the entire population of the County. The Authority shall be guided by principles that safeguard the natural basis for Sami culture, while at the same time securing an ecologically sustainable employment of the resources. Furthermore, land areas in the County of Finnmark shall be administered in such a way as to be equally available to all the inhabitants of the County and to serve common interests. Notwithstanding, as under the present system, the Finnmark Land Administration Authority shall be able to sell land and natural resources for exclusive use after having given due consideration to all the interests concemed. The powers of the Finnmark Land Administration Authority in this respect will, however, be subject to restraints in order to protect certain interests: the natural basis for Sami culture generally, reindeer husbandry , farming, nature and the environment, hunting, fishing and open-air activities.
The Sami Rights Commission proposes certain amendments to the mining legislation which will imply that exploration, drilling and extraction of minerals can only take place with the permission of the Finnmark Land Administration Authority. The administration of mineral resources will thereby be stricter than at present. The Commission also suggests that the Finnmark Land Administration Authority shall have stronger influence than’ the present authority in issues concerning other major developments.
The Commission proposes that the general rules of the Public Administration Act and the Freedom of Information Act shall apply to the Finnmark Land Administration Authority. Pursuant to the Public Administration Act, the decisions of the Finnmark Land Administration Authority can be appealed to the Ministry. However, in view of the fact that the Finnmark Land Administration Authority shall be independent of the government administration, the Commission proposes that the power of the Ministry to review the decisions of the Finnmark Land Administration Authority shall be limited to the lawfulness of such decisions; the Ministry shall not be entitled to review the Finnmark Land Administration Authority's discretion.
2.2 The majority proposal: Finnmark Land Administration Authority as the sole land administration authority .
11 members of the Sami Rights Commission suggest that the Finnmark Land Authority shall be the sole land administration authority and shall cover the whole of the County of Finnmark. They argue that the establishment of the Authority in the form outlined above, together with their other proposals, will give the Sami such a strong influence over the administration of the land are as and natural resources in the Sami habitats that Norway will fulfil its constitutional and international obligations in this respect.
2.3 The minority proposal: Finnmark Land Administration Authority and Sami Land Administration Authority as parallel land administration authorities
Five members of the Commission propose the establishment of a Sami Land Administration Authority in addition to and in parallel with the Finnmark Land Administration Authority, such that the administration of land resources in Finnmark will be shared between two authorities. The Sami Land Administration Authority shall be established only if one or more local authority vote to accede to it. If so, townships outside such local authority may also decide to accede. The intention behind the minority proposal is to give the Sami a stronger degree of influence in are as with a large Sami population.
The Sami Land Administration Authority shall have a board comprising seven members. Five members shall be appointed by the Sami parliament, three of whom shall be nominated by the acceding local authorities. The remaining two members shall be appointed by the Finnmark County Board. Title to all unsold land in the local authorities and townships which have acceded to the Sami Land Administration Authority shall be transferred to the Sami Land Administration Authority. The Sami Land Administration Authority, shall be organised as an independent legal entity, where the Sami parliament shall have rights of representation at the annual meeting.
The authority and procedural rules of the Sami Land Administration Authority shall in other respects be the same as those proposed for the Finnmark Land Administration Authority, except that complaints against individual decisions made by the Sami Land Administration Authority shall be heard by the Sami parliament, which shall have full
powers to review such decisions.
3. Interpretations of Articles 14 and 15 of the Convention
The report contains an outline of the various interpretations of Article 14 no 1 of the Convention that have been put forward in Norway. It also includes some comments on Article 15. The Commission refers to the Norwegian government's view put forward in connection with ratification of the Convention, the interpretation by the Land and Water Rights Group published in NOU 1993: 34, and, more particularly, the interpretation of the Ex pert Group on International Law appointed by the Sami Rights Commission to make a report on developments in international law that have taken place since the Commission presented its first report in 1984. The findings of the Ex pert Group on International Law are published in a comprehensive report (NOU 1997: 5) which has been used by the Sami Rights Commission as background material for its proposals.
3.1 Article 14 no 1
The opinion of the Norwegian government upon ratification of the Convention was that Norwegian law meets with the Convention's requirements in Article 14. The Committee's attention is drawn to the first report.
The opinion of the Land and Water Rights Group is outlined in Norway's second report, to which the attention of the Committee is drawn. The conclusion of the majority of the Land and Water Rights Group coincided in all major essentials with the opinion of the
Norwegian government upon ratification.
The opinion of the Ex pert Group on International Law differs on many points from the opinions of the Norwegian government and of the majority of the Land and Water Rights Group. To a large extent, the Ex pert Group on International Law have adopted the minority
opinion of the Land and Water Rights Group.
In relation to Article 14 no 1 first sentence, the Ex pert Group on International Law concludes that a claim by an indigenous people for the recognition of the right of ownership and possession to an area of land, requires that the peoples concerned must have exercised a use of the land which is of such a character that they can be said to have gained «actual command» of the area. However, the requirements of«actual command» must not be too strict. They will normally be deemed to be fulfilled if the people concerned have been more or less permanently settled in the area and at the same time have been the only people using the area. Where their use of the land has not been exclusive, the use exercised by the indigenous peoples must have been dominant compared to the use exercised by other peoples.
Based on this interpretation, the Ex pert Group on International Law concludes that the use exercised by the Sami in Inner Finnmark (ie the local authorities of Kautokeino and Karasjok, and the upper part of the local authority of Tana) has be en sufficient to justify a Sami claim for the recognition of the right of ownership and possession over these areas. (See also the minority opinion of the Land and Water Rights Group referred to in Norway's second report. Compare the majority view, that there are few, if any areas in Norway where the Sami people have exercised a use thereof which satisfies 'these conditions. ) Without going further into the matter, the Ex pert Group on International Law states that there may also be other areas which have been used by the Sami in such away as to justify a claim for the recognition of the right of ownership and occupation pursuant to the Convention.
The Ex pert Group on International Law acknowledges that Article 14 no 1 first sentence does not require title to be recognised, but find that recognition of the rights of ownership and possession implies that the peoples concerned be recognised a right to actual enjoyment which in all other essentials is comparable with ownership, including the right to start new forms of exploitation of the land areas concerned. Furthermore, they must also be entitled to exercise all other rights consistent with possession, e.g. to conserve the area, to exercise control with how the area is being used, to ensure that it is not being used in a manner inconsistent with the rights of the indigenous peoples, etc. In short, the fight of ownership and possession implies that the peoples concerned be given charge of the actual administration of the land areas concerned. However, the Ex pert Group on International Law are of the opinion that the Article 14 no 1 first sentence does not impose upon the state a duty to recognise an exclusive right of ownership and possession over the lands which they traditionally occupy.
It follows that the Ex pert Group on International Law disagrees with the view of the Norwegian government expressed in connection with ratification of the Convention, that «a strongly protected usufruct» must be regarded as sufficient for fulfilment of Article 14 on
recognition of ownership and possession.
In relation to Article 14 no 1 second sentence, the Expert Group on International Law is of the opinion that it imposes a duty on the state to recognise formal rights ( «usufruct» or «right of use» ). The Ex pert Group on International Law disagrees with the majority view of the Land and Water Rights Group in NOU 1993:34, that Article 14 no 1 second sentence refers more to access to use the land areas traditionally used by the peoples concerned, than to formal rights (see Norway's second report).
The Expert Group on International Law assumes that the extent of the usufruct to be recognised will depend on the use that has been exercised. A claim for recognition of usufruct can only relate to abuse which has been exercised -not a potential or non-exercised
The Sami Rights Commission notes that if the conclusions of the Ex pert Group on International Law are to be followed, this will necessitate certain amendments in Norwegian law in order to comply with Article 14. In particular, changes would have to be made with regard to ownership in the County of Finnmark and possibly other areas where the Sami have a claim to the recognition of rights of ownership and possession pursuant to Article 14 no 1 first sentence. The interpretation of Article 14 no 1 second sentence put forward by the Ex pert Group on International Law may also necessitate statutory amendment. ,
3.2 Article 15 no 1
The Ex pert Group on International Law expresses the view that Article 15 applies irrespective of the form of right to which an indigenous people have a claim for recognition pursuant to Article 14 i.e. that the right applies to both land are as traditionally occupied by them and land areas to which they have traditionally had access for their subsistence and traditional activities. The Ex pert Group does not share the majority view of the Land and Water Rights Group that Article 15 applies only to resources in land areas to which the indigenous peoples have a claim pursuant to Article 14 no 1 first sentence. In this respect, the Commission refers also to the comments of the Committee in its Direct Request 1995 point 23.
The Expert Group on International Law is of the opinion that the Sami people cannot claim an exclusive right to determine how the natural resources in these are as shall be, exploited. The requirements of the Convention will be fulfilled if the Sami are guaranteed «active participation> in the administration of the natural resources, i.e. that the Sami together with other persons are given charge of the management, use and conservation of the natural resources in Finnmark.
4. The relationship between the Convention and the proposals of the Sami Rights Commission
The Sami Rights Commission has considered its proposals concerning the establishment of Finnmark Land Administration Authority in the light of Articles 14 of the Convention, more particularly in the light of the interpretation of the Ex pert Group on International Law of Articles 14. However, the Commission acknowledges that although substantial weight should be given to the report of the Ex pert Group on International Law, it cannot be seen as an authoritative determination of the position of current or future Norwegian law vis a vis the Convention. Such determination can only be made by the Committee, and, in the final instance, by the International Court of Justice.
On the basis of the Ex pert Group on International Law' s opinion that the Convention does not impose upon the State a duty to recognise an exclusive Sami right of possession and ownership to the land areas traditionally occupied by them, the Commission concludes that the proposal to transfer title and the rights of administration to all the unsold land in the County of Finnmark to a separate Land Administration Authority, satisfies the terms of the Convention. The Commission are however divided as to whether the proposals concerning the composition of the board of the Finnmark Land Administration Authority -where half of the board members are appointed by the Sami parliament and half by the Finnmark County Board -accords sufficient influence to the Sami population to comply with the terms of the Convention. It is against this background that a minority of the Commission proposes the establishment of the Sami Land Administration Authority in addition to the Finnmark Land Administration Authority. It is recalled that the board of the Sami Land Administration Authority shall comprise seven members, of which five shall be appointed by the Sami parliament.
5. The proposals of the Sami Rights Commission for: procedural rules in connection with the development and exploitation of land and resources in areas used by the Sami people
The proposals of the Sami Rights Commission on this issue cover not only the County of Finnmark, but all areas used by the Sami in Norway. The proposals are based on the premise that nature is an important factor in, and a basic precondition for the continuance of Sami culture.
The Commission makes proposals for procedures to be followed in w hat it refers to as «decisions concerning encroachments». These are defined as
individual administrative decisions concerning permission ( concession, dispensation, consent, approval, admittance) to measures which involve encroachment upon the ground or other natural resource in areas us ed by the Sami;
- individual administrative decisions concerning permission to acquire rights in the ground or other natural resources, w hen the purpose of the acquisition is to implement measures which involve encroachment upon the ground or other natural resource in are as used by the Sami;
- decisions made by a public authority concerning the implementation of measures which involve encroachment upon the ground or other natural resource in areas us ed by the
- Sami, w hen such measures do not require special permission.
- The procedural rules to be followed in such cases are as follows:
- when a decision concerning an encroachment is to be made, weight shall be given to safeguarding the natural basis for Sami culture, including Sami livelihoods and community life;
- nine members of the Commission propose that if the encroachment is considered to be substantial, the Sami parliament or a body authorised by the Sami parliament, shall be given the opportunity during the preparatory stages of the case to express its opinion. Five members of the Commission propose in addition that the district board shall be entitled to express its opinion where the encroachment concerns reindeer farming land;
- if the encroachment is considered to be substantial, the proposal shall be put before the Sami parliament. In certain circumstances, the Sami parliament can impose a 6 year ban on the proposed encroachment. The ban can however be lifted by the Norwegianparliament.
- when regulations are made concerning the use or exploitation of, or measures which
- involve encroachment upon, the ground or other natural resource in areas used by the
- Sami, weight shall be given to safeguarding the natural basis for Sami culture, including Sami livelihoods and community life.
Health and social services
Generally, health and social services are performed on a non-discriminative basis. Workers and others belonging to peoples concerned, enjoy the same social security rights as residents in general. Reference is moreover made to Article 24.
The Norwegian Social Security Scheme covers all persons residing in Norway on an equal basis. Income-related cash benefits are awarded to all persons income a pension able income above a certain level.
The plan for health and social services to the Sami population (NOU 1995 :6) will probably be succeeded by a probably for action from the Government submitted early in 1999. The Sami Parliament will participate on an advisory basis in the preparation of the programme. The Government also provides funding for projects which adopt aspects of NOU 1995:6. The administration of this fund will partly be transferred to the Sami Parliament from 1999, within the framework set by national health policy guidelines. The programme for action will particularly focus on strengthening the competence in Sami language and cultural aspects in the health services. The fund mentioned above will also give these perspectives priority. In the Sami core areas, it is an increasing demand from the Government that the local authorities provide education in Sami culture, and to a certain degree also Sami language, for health and social service personnel. A Sami speaking nurse student class is set up by the Finnmark college. Supplementary training course schemes in multicultural understanding in the health and social sector are being prepared. The multicultural (Sami) perspective will also be strengthened in the basic education of personnel.
The introduction of the family doctor reform in Norway, will also offer more favourable conditions to Sami speaking patients, particularly in the Sami core areas. The health and inequality probably is now completed. However, the funding for the specialist physicians centre and the psychiatric institution in Inner Finnmark continues. These institutions are integral parts of the general health service, as well as having special responsibilities towards the Sami population. The national responsibilities for the Sami population of these psychiatric institution are to be consolidated through the general plan for strengthening the psychiatric services in Norway. Parallel measures may be considered in other aspects of the health and social services.
Important development work is done at the regional hospital in Tromsø, called «Sami service centre». Still the interpretations service and other accommodations for Sami patients' are inadequate or lacking at other hospitals. A health survey among the Sami population may be carried out, as well as an evaluation of the Sami patients' experiences as regards the primary and specialist health services. This is due to the authorities' need for better data as a prerequisite for adopting measures to improve the health services for the Sami population.
The employment situation is the interior of Finnmark is marked by the ongoing changes in the reindeer husbandry industry. An employment programme known as KAJA (Norwegian acronym for "competence, work training, job creation for the unemployed') ,is available to
compensate for the poor employment opportunities in this part of Norway. KAJA is, otherwise reserved for the interior of Oslo East and for special contingencies.
We can also inform you of a project in which labour market training (Norwegian acronym: AMO) is available for retraining unemployed persons from the reindeer husbandry industry for work in other occupations.
The Ministry of Children and Family Affairs has the following comments in regard to articles 27 and 28:
" A new Day Care Institutions Act came into force on 1 January 1996. Section 7, third paragraph, of the act establishes the responsibility of municipal authorities for providing day care facilities for Sami children. It reads: "Day care institutions for Sami children in Sami districts shall be based on the Sami language and culture".
Moreover a Framework Plan for the content of day care institutions has been established which contains a separate chapter on the Sami language and culture. The objectives set out in the Framework Plan are a guideline for the organising of day care facilities for Sami children at the same time as they allow for adaptation to local conditions. The Sami chapter in the Framework Plan also provides a basis for all day care institutions to become better acquainted with Sami culture and the Sami way of life. All children one or both of whose parents are Sami are defined as Sami children in the Framework Plan.
The Framework Plan defines Sami day care institutions as follows: "A Sami day care institution is one where the children in the institution have a Sami background -i.e. are Sami. The institution's aim is to strengthen the children's identity as Sami by promoting the use of the Sami language and by imparting Sami culture. The day care institution is headed by Sami teaching staff."
Sami day care institutions receive a special grant over and above the ordinary State operating subsidies for day care institutions in general. The grant is intended to meet the extra expenses incurred by Sami day care facilities and to ensure that Sami children in day care institutions are enabled to strengthen their Sami language and cultural base. In 1997 a total of 45 Sami day care institutions comprising about 1000 children received a special grant.
In 1994 the Sami Educational Council was strengthened by the addition of a special adviser in the day care institution matters. The Council also receives support funds from the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs earmarked for experimental and development work in Sami day care institutions.
2 copies of Lov om barnehager (Q-0902)
2 copies of Rammeplan for barnehager (Q-0903)."
Education and Training
The Acts and legislation concerning upper secondary education and training has not been
changed since the previous report.
In reply to the Direct request made by the Committee of Experts, we would like to give you the following information. Hence and update is needed on rules and practice with regard to education and training for the Sami population. The Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs provides a full position report on education for the Sami at all levels in relation to Articles 26- 31. This Ministry has the following comments on Articles 21, 22, 23 and 27 of the Convention in relation to upper secondary educational facilities for the Sami population in Norway:
Upper secondary education is open for all young people and adults. (Act. No.55 of 21 June 1974 relating to Upper Secondary Education and Act. No.13 of23 May 1980 relating to vocational training). Sami youth have the same statutory right to 3 years of upper secondary education or training as Norwegian 16 -19 years old.
Sami youths use curricula and school books written in Sami language both in «duodji» (Sami handicraft/arts/design) and reindeer herding.
A readjustment programme has been established for raising the competence of and retraining reindeer husbandry workers. The programme comprises a three-month field work assistant course in natural resource use (agriculture, fishing and forestry) and a one¬ year field work assistant course in natural resource management. This is a retraining course which can be taken part-time.
New teaching plans for enterprise training in duodji have been drawn up in conjunction with the training Council for Duodji. Enterprises that take on apprentices in duodji receive threefold grants. This improves the ability of one-man enterprises to take on apprentices.
In 1996 and 1997 the Duodji Institute received funds to establish a junior research post in duodji. The purpose of the post is to document and preserve traditional knowledge of and high-level competence in duodji. Knowledge of materials, collecting methods etc., is
Sami culture is now being established as a subject available to everyone in the area of study for general, economic and administrative subjects. This will strengthen young people's competence in essential aspects of Sami culture.
The Lule Sami have acquired their own cultural centre and resource centre at Árran where training is provided in several subjects/trades targeted directly at the local population with
a Sami background.
Reference is also made to Convention No.142.
Norwegian internal legislation, which has throughout been revised to meet changing needs
in the community, provides a sound basis on which to build up an educational regime for
the Sami population that conserves Sami culture and promotes its development.
Education Act (Art. 27)
The Norwegian educational system is governed by a number of laws and regulations. Most
measures, including in regard to the Sami population, are implemented within the
framework of ordinary legislation. In some fields special provisions have been necessary to meet the Sami population' s needs.
New Education Act
The Government's proposal for a new Education Act (Ot prp nr 46) was dealt with by the
Storting in lune 1998, cf. Innst. O nr 70 (1997-98). The new act will replace the present
Basic School Act. A number of the present act's provisions concerning the Sami population are amended in the new act.
The terms Sami (as a noun), Sami (as an adjective) and Sami district are redefined in the
new Education Act. Discussion particularly turns on the compass of the term "Sami
district", prompting c1arifications in the act.
Right to instruction in -and through the medium of- the Sami language
The present Basic School Act gives each child in Sami districts an individual right to have Sami as his/her language of instruction -or to have the Sami language as a school subject. Outside Sami districts pupils are entitled to receive instruction in the Sami language provided at least three pupils at a school request this.
In the new Education Act the individual's right to instruction in the Sami language is extended to Sami pupils throughout the country both in the basic (primary and lower secondary ) school and the upper secondary school.
According to the act a municipality can issue regulations requiring all children of basic school age in Sami districts to receive instruction in the Sami language.
According to the act a minimum of ten pupils who desire instruction in and through the medium of the Sami language in a municipality have a right to receive such instruction so long as there are no fewer than six pupils left in the group.
Authority over the content of Sami instruction
The challenge presented by the issue of the Sami Assembly's authority over and influence on the educational system lies in balancing this against the interest of general national unitary schooling.
Under the present system the ministry establishes the scope and content of Sami instruction through the teaching plans. In order for the Sami themselves to decide how their culture should be transmitted, the Education Act gives the Sami Assembly power to establish the Sami content of the national teaching plans and to establish teaching plans in Sami language subjects, and the special Sami subjects at tipper secondary level (Sami handicrafts (duodji) and reindeer husbandry), within a framework of time and resource use stipulated by the ministry. To ensure that the Sami Assembly also has substantive influence over teaching plans in other subjects studied by pupils whose range of subjects includes the Sami language, the Sami Assembly has been given responsibility under the provisions of the Education Act for preparing such plans, while the ministry retains its authority to approve the plans. This division of roles provides a sound basis for close collaboration in the preparation process.
Responsibility for developing Sami teaching aids will also be transferred to the Sami Assembly.
Administrative resources and specialist competence of the Sami Assembly
The new educational responsibilities assigned to the Sami Assembly are essentially identical to the special responsibilities for Sami instruction presently assigned to the ministry .The Sami Assembly will require added administrative capacity and specialist pedagogical competence. The ministry will transfer the Sami Education Council's secretariat to the Sami Assembly, and the Council will concurrently be terminated.
ECONOMIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURES (Art. 26,27,30)
Dedicational facilities for the Sami are administered and implemented through the ordinary dedicational system. In some areas it is necessary to put in place special measures in the form of administrative entities, institutions, operation of buildings and grant schemes.
Institutions (Art. 27)
Sami Education Council
The Sami Education Council comes directly under the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs. The Council is appointed by the Sami Assembly and has the following tasks:
- to provide dedicational programmes for the Sami population in general
- to prepare and modify teaching plans within the Council’s field of responsibility .to approve textbooks
- to give guidance to personnel in day care institutions, basic schools, tipper secondary
- schools and adult education facilities
- to follow up the work done with guidances in writing
- to run various refresher-training and competence-raising measures
- to provide ex pert counsel to education authorities at all three administrative levels.
A teaching-aids centre has been set up at the Sami Education Council's secretariat to develop Sami teaching aids for use in basic and tipper secondary schools.
See also the chapter on the Education Act as regards the Sami Education Council's future role in Sami education.
Measures in the basic (primary and lower secondary) school in the southern Sami area.
The southern Sami groups are dispersed a cross a wide geographical area. Two residential schools have been established to preserve the Sami language and culture. The Sami school at Snåsa is a municipal residential school entirely financed by the State. The Sami school for mid-Norway in Hattfjelldal is a residential school owned and run by the State.
In 1995 the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs set up a working group to review the education satiation for Southern-Sami pupils. The working group has completed its mission. Its main recommendations are:
- the establishment of permanent education programmes in Southern Sami at college leve focus on development of teaching aids
- focus on supplementary distance education and use of IT
- the creation of a Southern-Sami competence centre for language, education and culture .a network to provide guidance to schools, pupils and parents in matters of education and
- school subjects
- changes in organisational and curricular structure.
The report has been widely circulated for comment to affected parties. The Sami Assembly made a consultative statement on the report at a plenary session in February 1998.
The ministry is now reviewing the group's recommendations and will present a response in the near future.
Measures in the basic (primary and lower secondary) school in the Northern-Sami area
Residential institutions in the county of Finnmark
Families in the reindeer husbandry industry where both parents migrate with the herd to the
grazing area need lodging for their children for a period. After World War II the State
assumed responsibility for construction and operation of residential basic schools in
According to section 4-3 of the Basic School Act the municipality is now responsible for lodging pupils for whom the journey to and from school is too long to permit transport on a daily basis. Some pupils spend the entire year at State-run residential schools. The ministry aims to phase out its responsibility for the State-run residential basic schools and to transfer them to the municipalities.
Residential school in the county of Troms
The Sami school at Målselv, Troms, is a municipal residential school whose operating expenses ,are borne by the State. The school provides instruction in and through the medium of the northern-Sami language.
The Sami population in Troms is widely dispersed and constitutes a small minority in the respective municipalities. Some parents apply for admission of their children to the Sami school in Målselv to enable them to experience a Northern-Sami environment and the Sami language in both a school and residential situation. Sami bodies want the Sami school to be maintained as an education and resource centre for the Northern-Sami language and
culture. A new residential Sami school in Målselv was completed in time for the start of
the school-year 1997/98.
Sami upper secondary schools
The Sami upper secondary school in Karasjok and the Sami upper secondary school and reindeer husbandry school in Kautokeino are State-run schools providing upper secondary education.
In the autumn of 1996 the Sami upper secondary school in Karasjok relocated to more sui-table premises.
The Sami College / Sámi allaskuvla
The Sámi allaskuvla / Sami College was established in Kautokeino in 1989 with Northern Sami as its language of instruction and administration both for students and staff. The college is an educational and research institution founded with specifically Sami educational needs in mind.
For 1998 the college had a target figure of 165 students. In the autumn of 1996 290 students were enrolled. Of these, 119 were full-time students while 90 were part-time. In the academic year 1996/1997 there were 41 teacher-training students at the college. In the same year the college had 11 administrative posts, 19 permanent specialist-teacher posts and three junior research/teaching posts, plus a post for a professor working on a 20% basis and three self-financing posts for commissioned research. The college's budget for 1996 was about NOK
15 000 000.
Sámi allaskuvla is headed by a board whose external members and their deputies are appointed by the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs upon recommendation by the College's council and the Sami Assembly, cf. section II, subsection 3, of Act No.22 of 12 May 1995 on Universities and Colleges.
The academic staff at Sámi allaskuvla carry out research and development aimed at enhancing the quality and strength of the education offered by the college, at providing a specialist basis for the instruction given and at building up and further developing competence. In collaboration with other parties the specialist staff also engage in research and development, disseminate research results and accumulate new knowledge. Two challenges single them selves out in the research and development sphere ahead: a) the follow-up of the educational reform with a particular eye to the Sami Teaching Plan for the 10-year Basic School and b) the development of new study plans for Sami teacher-training in connection with the teacher-training reform ("LU-98").
The College will shoulder a responsibility in relation to all Sami areas both as regards the various Sami language groups in Norway and Sami populations in other countries. The Sami College is therefore open to applicants from Finland, Sweden and Russia. A special teacher-training programme has been devised for Sami students from Sweden and Finland. The Sami College is required to provide programmes in Swedish and Finnish for students from these countries in order for the College's teacher-training to be approved in these students' respective home countries. For students from Finland a 40 hour course in school administration is also required.
University of Tromsø
The University of Tromsø has a special responsibility for research, education and dissemination of research results with particular relevance to North Norway, including the Sami sphere, which is one of the institution's main focal areas. The university is a cornerstone of Sami education and research. It offers instruction in the Sami language, literature and culture up to post-graduate level, with associated research programmes. The University Museum researches into Sami history , archaeology and ethnography. Sami themes are also addressed in the social science faculties.
In 1990 the University's governing body established a Centre for Sami Studies to prioritise and co-ordinate research and teaching of relevance to the Sami communities. The Centre's paramount goal is to meet the needs of both the Sami and the Norwegian communities to generate and systematise new insight into phenomena and processes of significance to the Sami language, culture and community life. The Centre for Sami Studies is designed to function as a re source for the Sami communities.
The Agricultural University of Norway
Instruction in reindeer husbandry at the University began in 1976. Since then reindeer
husbandry has been offered as an optional course worth two credits in the Norwegian
system. About 600 students have completed the course. An objective is to familiarise the students with the industry to enable them at a later stage to view it in conjunction with their various involvements in natural re source management. The course has generated a large number of special assignments and theses in the field of reindeer husbandry .
The costs of instruction have been met by way of the Reindeer Husbandry Agreement and funds from the Agricultural University. Since the end of the 1980s the University has maintained a part-time professorial post for instruction in reindeer husbandry .
A student welfare association was set up in Inner Finnmark in 1995. The association runs a
day care centre for students and student accommodation in Kautokeino, as well as welfare
facilities for students at the Sami College. Pupils at the Sami upper secondary school and the reindeer husbandry school in Kautokeino, as well as at the Sami upper secondary school in Karasjok, have access to relevant welfare facilities based on agreement between the school-owner and the welfare association.
With the enactment of the above amendment it is now established by law that the two Sami adult education organisations do not need to meet the ordinary requirements applied at adult education organisations as previously established by the ministry pursuant to section 10 of the Adult Education Act.
Grant schemes (Art. 26)
Periods allocated to Sami instruction in basic schools
In order to help to meet additional expenditure on Sami instruction in the basic school, municipalities receive grants for divided language classes and special language programmes. The bulk of the funds go to municipalities in the counties of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark.
A number of municipalities assert that real expenditure on language division in schools far outstrips the grants. The Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR) has prepared a report on this issue for the State Education Office in Finnmark. The criteria for
allocating grants for special language measures have now been revised. The municipalities have responded favourably to the changes made. For the school year 1996-97 the pupil distribution on the various language programmes was as follows:
No. of pupils
|Sami as first language||
|Sami as second language||
|Sami for non-Sami speakers||
Language measures in upper secondary schools
Subsidies are given for extra tuition in the Sami language at the same rates as for foreign language pupils and apprentices in upper secondary schools. The subsidy for tuition in Sami is granted in respect of all pupils taking Sami regardless of level.
In the school year 1995/96 Sami pupils benefiting from State subsidies at upper secondary county municipal schools were distributed as follows:
|Recipient||2nd half 1995||1 st half 1996||No. of year-round pupils|
Student and pupil measures
Support for education is granted in accordance with the Act on Educational Support for Pupils and Students. Special grants are available to pupils from Northern Troms and Finnmark. This scheme applies to upper secondary pupils living away from home. In addition special grants area available to Sami youth from Inner Finnmark. Since 1993 these funds have been alloated by the Sami Assembly.
Paid stud leave
Since 1979 basic-school teachers been able to apply for a grant with a view to one year's further training in Sami. The condition is that the teacher has not taken such leave previously, and that he/she has formally undertaken to teach at a basic school in a mixed language district.
Since 1994 the State Education Offices in the counties of Nordland, Troms and Finnmark granted - respectively - four, three and five study leaves in Sami and Finnish. These study leaves are in addition to the study leaves available through the teaching-aids schemes for
schools in North Norway. The study leaves available under the teaching-aids schemes are of a wider scope than this special study leave scheme and can also be used for further training in Sami-related subjects.
Write-down of stud loans
Borrowers from the State Loan Fund for Education who are employed in Finnmark or one of the seven teaching-aids municipalities in Northern Troms have their study loan written down by 10 per cent (maximum NOK 16,500) of the original loan sum for each year they work in an area coming under the teaching-aids schemes.
Content of the instruction, teaching aids and guidances (Art. 28,29,30,31)
The paramount goals for instruction are set out in the general section of the Teaching Plan for Basic Schools, Upper Secondary Schools and Adult Education (abbreviated to "L97"). Here the Sami language and culture are described as part of the "shared heritage that Norway and the Nordic region have a special responsibility for protecting. This heritage must be allowed space for further development at schools with Sami pupils, in order for it to strengthen Sami identity and our shared knowledge of Sami culture II (L97, p.19).
A school firmly based in the Sami language and culture is an important instrument in the work of strengthening Sami identity. Instruction for Sami pupils is required to have a content and a quality that both imparts basic knowledge and contributes to vitalising the Sami cultural heritage, thereby inspiring pupils to participate in the local cultural life as active members of the Sami and the Norwegian community.
The Sami are part and parcel of the Norwegian population. Knowledge of Sami history and culture is of great significance for developing positive attitudes to the Sami ethnic group. The Teaching Plan for the 1 O-year Basic School (L97) requires all pupils in Norwegian schools to acquire a basic knowledge of various aspects of the Sami language, culture and community life.
Plan for developing: Sami teaching: aids
In 1995 the Sam Education Council presented a Strategic plan for developing Sami teaching aids in the period 1996-2000, and in 1996 an Action plan for special pedagogical teaching aids for Sami users in the period 1997-2000.
The Sami Education Council's budget for teaching aids production for 1998 was raised by a substantial margin of NOK 3 million compared with the budget for 1997. The plan for teaching-aids development encompasses day care centres, the basic school, upper secondary school and special pedagogical teaching aids. Nordic collaboration has been established to draw up programmes for teaching-aids development, and further , international collaboration has been established for development of teaching aids. The Sami Education Council has extensive collaboration with media enterprises such as the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, publishers and IT firms on video programmes, pedagogical computer programs and other teaching aids.
The Sami Teaching: Plan for the 10-vear Basic School (L97S)
Two parallel teaching plans for the 10-year basic school have been formulated in connection with the 1997 educational reform: "L97" and "L97 Sami".
The general teaching plan (L97) is based on section 110 a of the Constitution and on the Act on the Sami Assembly and Other Sami Legal Matters (the Sami Act). The plan also represents follow-up of ILO Convention No.169, ratified by Norway in 1990.'
The Sami Teaching Plan for the 10-year Basic School (L97S) was established in pursuance of the Basic School Act and is applicable to all pupils in the Sami language administrative area.
The Sami teaching plan comprises the following main sections:
- A preface setting out the legal basis for a separate Sami teaching plan
- Teaching plan for the basic school, upper secondary school and adult education (genera section)
- Principles and guidelines for instruction in the basic school based on the Sami teaching plan
- Syllabuses for the subjects
The four sections constitute a binding and unitary teaching plan.
The Sami teaching plan starts out from the Sami communities' distinctive character and
needs. Instruction for Sami pupils will build on a basis of knowledge, culture and values appropriate to the Sami communities. One of the paramount goals is to secure a positive identity and functional bilingualism for Sami pupils. The overall aim is to help pupils to develop a positive self-image and sound attitudes to their own language, culture and community.
The introduction of the Sami Teaching Plan for the 10-year Basic School is being organised by the Sami Education Council and the Sami Education Offices in Troms and Finnmark in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs. Plans for refresher training and guidances linked to L97 Sami are being drawn up as part of this process. Subjects for which separate syllabuses have been prepared in L97 Sami are given priority. In other subjects, competence development will be based on plans for refresher training and guidances linked to the general teaching plan (L97).
By the spring of 1998 an overall plan for refresher training will have been prepared in:
- Sami as first language
- Sami as second language
- Norwegian as second language for pupils with Sami as their first language
- Sami language and culture
Supplementary syllabuses for refresher training in the following subjects have been prepared:
- social subjects duodji (Sami handicrafts)
- domestic science
- natural science and environmental subjects
- Christianity with an introduction to other religions and life philosophies
The Sami Education Council has started work on a re source book for teachers of various aspects of Sami language, culture and community life. The resource book will become available during the school year 1997-98, and can be used to develop skill in using teaching material that illuminates aspects of Sami language and culture in L97 and L97
Teaching plans for upper secondary schools
The Sami Educational Council has played an active part in the preparation of teaching plans by recommending members for the teaching plan groups, commenting on relevant teaching plans and translating the teaching plans into Sami. All plans are subject to ministry approval. The teaching plans make room for adaptation to local conditions.
A separate council for training in duodji (Sami handicrafts) has been set up. The council is an advisory body to the Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs within its specialist field. The council is responsible for:
- work on promoting the quality of instruction
- commenting on, and taking the initiative vis-à-vis the ministry in matters concerning
- training in the council's field in the world of work and at school
- contributing to the development of duodji as an occupation and as a school subject.
Sami college / Sámi allaskuvla
The College offers the following study programmes in addition to teacher-training: journalism (basic training), multi-cultural education, multi-cultural understanding, adult education, special education, bilingualism pedagogics, social subjects, duodji, physical exercise, Sami language, Sami language for public administration personnel, introductory course in Sami language, course preparing for university-Level studies in the Sami language and interpreter training.
Other college facilities
Sámi allaskuvla is the only college that offers a complete Sami teacher training. Bodø College offers instruction in the Lule Sami language and culture and Nord- Trøndelag College offers courses in Southern Sami language and culture. Nesna College is offering half-year units in the Southern Sami language for one student cohort from the autumn of 1998 onwards. These courses will be available as part of basic teacher-training or as further training for teachers and others who need these languages in their occupations. Building up study programmes for small Sami language groups dispersed a cross a wide area and different regions is a particular challenge for these colleges. In 1987 the Nord- Trøndelag College was assigned a main responsibility for Southern Sami language and culture,' and will develop an action plan in this field.
Bodø College currently has a junior research/teaching post in Lule Sami and Nord¬-Trøndelag College a similar post in Southern Sami. The Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs will continually review the allocation of such posts in the Sami sphere.
Centre for Sami studies at the University of Tromsø
The Research Council of Norway has granted just over NOK 2 million over a five-year period for the development of a network for research into indigenous peoples. The University of Tromsø, the Sami College and the Nordic Sami Institute are collaborating on the project. The project manager is attached to the Centre for Sami Studies at the University of Tromsø.
Recruitment to higher education
Neither of the two official variants of Norwegian can by law be replaced with Sami in
general teacher-training. The question of recruitment will be closely studied in a report on
Sami teacher-training (cf. chapter: Report on Sami teacher-training).
Training Programmes for adults
An institution named FB Fjernundervisning offers two distance-education courses in Sami,
viz. Davvin 1-4 and Sámás 1-3. The courses are entirely financed by the State and are free
of charge to participants subject to completion of the course.
Readjustment Programme for Inner Finnmark -education and competence section
The education and competence section of the Readjustment Programme for Inner Finnmark is co-ordinated and organised by the Co-ordinating Committee for the Finnmark Education Region (SUFUR). Activities and measures under the programme are described in chapter 220.127.116.11 in Report to the Storting No.41 (1996-97). In 1996 there were 11 measures in Tana, 14 in Kautokeino, nine in Karasjok and four in Porsanger, involving a total of 485 participants of which 237 were w omen and 72 were persons undergoing retraining.
The intention is to extend the Readjustment Programme for Inner Finnmark by one year to the end of 1998. The Readjustment Board has put forward a plan for continuation of measures after completion of the Readjustment Programme.
Basic school education for adult Sami
The school year 1999/2000 will see the introduction of the Teaching Plan for the 10-year Basic School (L97) in the basic school education of adults. The Sami Teaching Plan for the 10-year Basic School (L97S) will simultaneously be introduced in basic school education of adult Sami in the Sami teaching plan's area of operation.
The Ministry of Education, Research and Church Affairs will prepare a guidance in basic schooling for adults adapted to L97. The guidance will include a chapter dealing with instruction of Sami adults based on the Sami Teaching Plan for the 10-year Basic School. The latter chapter is being drawn up jointly by the ministry and the Sami Education Council.
Pre- and post-school-hours facilities (Art.29)
The ex pert committee appears to be enquiring both about day care facilities and pre- and post-school-hours facilities for Sami children. The Department of Primary and Lower Secondary Education assumes that the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs will report
on the day care centre aspect.
Pre- and post-school-hours facilities are fully developed in all Sami areas. Capacity in the Sami areas is generally ample in relation to the number of applicants. Special Sami ¬language facilities are available in the municipalities of Nesseby, Tana, Karasjok and Kautokeino. There is nothing to suggest that there has been a demand for Sami-,1anguage measures in the pre- and post-school-hours facilities in the other municipalities, although Sami measures in the latter areas are present both in day care centres and in schools as teaching subjects. The municipalities receive a specific sum of State support per pupil for pre- and post-school-hours facilities. No special support is available for Sami language measures in pre- and post-school-hours facilities to match the support available for Sami
measures in day care centres.
Reference is made to previous report.
This report will be commutated to the Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry, the Confederation of Trade Unions in Norway, and the Sami Parliament.
Oslo, November 1998