“This is a ‘Black Friday’ not only for mother nature but also for Sámi rights. We utterly condemn the decision”, declares Runar Myrnes Balto, head of The Sámi Association of Norway (NSR).
The decision sends shockwaves through the Sámi Community who feels that Sámi industries lack protection in 2019 despite the fact that 40 years have passed since The Alta Conflict.
“The livelihoods of Sámi families are being destroyed when their reindeer calving grounds become industrial areas and the fjord a rubbish dump. Families feel stripped of their rights in their contacts with the mineral industry and governmental authorities. This is a totally disgraceful assault on them”, states Myrnes Balto.
The Government is committing a serious violation here, in what is not only an environmental scandal of internationally epic proportions, but also an assault on vulnerable indigenous people. I think it is alarming that this is possible 40 years after The Alta Conflict! Hasn’t Norway learnt anything?– Runar Myrnes Balto, head of NSR
Myrnes Balto announces that he is arranging for an extraordinary NSR board meeting to be held to discuss what action the organisation should now take and that he will lift Nussir as a matter of urgency to the Sámi Parliament. The leader of NSR also promises support to those who are entitled to rights, whose rights are being encroached upon at the moment.
“We are going to support our people entitled to rights in the best way we can. In this matter, it is our firm belief that Norway is impinging on the rights of their indigenous people and that the recent decision is reprehensible as it is made on faulty premises. Therefore, our commitment continues indefinitely”, concludes Myrnes Balto.