Words by Abi Scaife
Greta Thunberg’s campaign has donated £158,000 to support a Sami campaign.
Tell me more - who are the Sami?
The Sami are a group of indigenous people who inhabit the region of Sápmi, what we once called Lapland. They are the descendants of the nomadic peoples who have inhabited Scandinavia for thousands of years, and many of them still observe similar nomadic practices today, including travelling with the reindeer they herd.
As a fun bonus fact, they are the inspiration behind the Northuldra, the indigenous tribe shown in Disney’s Frozen 2.
So, what exactly are they campaigning?
In a nutshell, a group of Sami are currently campaigning against a British mining company, that obtained permission from the Swedish government for an excavation project. However, the land earmarked for this excavation is on land used by the Sami for reindeer herding, which is a huge part of the Sami way of life.
The excavation would destroy grazing areas and cut off the only viable migratory route for reindeer herded by the Jåhkågasska Sami community.
What will the money go towards?
The money donated by Greta’s charity (two million Swedish Krona, or £158,000) will go towards legal fees. This will help the Jåhkågasska Sami community continue to fight against the excavation, a fight which has been going on for a decade.
“For the last 12 years, the Jåhkågaska Sami community has been defending its grazing lands by resisting this iron-ore mine,” Greta told The Guardian, when she visited the area last year. “By doing so they have been safeguarding what keeps us all safe: biodiverse forests, intact carbon stock as well as clean water and air.”