An Indigenous Perspective: Sámi Leaders Dialogue

The Norway House will host a gathering of Sámi leaders, in dialogue with indigenous leaders from Lakota-Dakota-Nakota oyate. The event is co-convened by the International Center for Dialogue and Peacebuilding and Citizens’ Climate Education.

The programme will include discussions focused around Sámi heritage and culture, Sámi efforts to protect indigenous land and indigenous rights, and Sámi efforts to restor and preserve their cultural identity.

At the culmination of the programme, photojournalist Randall Hyman will join the discussion to share the powerful photography and stories behind his current exhibit at Norway House: Sámi Dreams: Conversations with Modern-Day Sámi by photojournalist Randall Hyman.

A performance of traditional Sámi joik (a style of traditional Sámi singing) and a reception will conclude our forum.  We look forward to welcoming you to Norway House for this global dialogue.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Norway House Galleri

3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Protection of Mother Earth & the never-ending hunger for Indigenous lands

Sámi leaders share and bring examples of the ongoing efforts to preserve and protect Indigenous Sámi land.

4:00 PM – 4:45 PM

When Sámi came to Standing Rock

Sharing of Indigenous knowledge between Indigenous Peoples and how allyship strengthens all of us – stories from the time the Sámi came to Standing Rock.

5:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Obligations & Agreements: Update from the conclusion of the 2019 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

The legal frameworks Indigenous peoples live within. Are UNDRIP and ILO 169 tools for self-determination or are there other solutions?

5:45 PM – 6:30 PM


Story-telling and conversation with photojournalist Randall Hyman. Sámi leaders will present juoigan/joik – traditional Sámi singing at the end of the program followed by a reception.


Áslat Holmberg
Áslat Holmberg is a politician, activist, fisherman and a teacher. He is a vice president of the Saami Council and a member of the Sámi parliament of Finland. He has a master’s degree in indigenous studies at the University of Tromsø.

Beaska Niillas
Beaska Niillas is a traditional handicrafter/duojár, fisherman, hunter, father, activist and active in Indigenous politics. Beaska has worked both with other Indigenous Peoples and within the Sámi communities for many years trying to restore and revoke Sámi ways of life. He also believes that true self-determination and real Sámi structures are the foundation for the survival of the Sámi nation.

Lásse-Ivvár Erke – Eirik Larsen
Lásse-Ivvár Erke is a political advisor for the Sámi President in Norway. He is an Indigenous and Human rights lawyer and has previously worked with indigenous issues in the Norwegian ministries.