Arctic Yearbook 2014
herding, being emblematic for the Sámi people. This argument has been made for example regarding
the recent mining-reindeer herding dispute in Gállok, Sweden and regarding forestry-reindeer
herding dispute in Inari, Finland (Sarkki & Rönkä 2012).
The main international documents codifying indigenous rights are the 2007 UN Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the 1989 ILO Convention no. 169. Contrary to Norway, Finland
and Sweden have not ratified the ILO Convention, but in both countries there is an on-going
discussion about the Sámi rights to lands they traditionally inhabited and used. Even though planned
new land use activities often include environmental impact assessments and local stakeholder
consultations, the impact of Sámi herders and local people on final decision making is often
considered to be fairly minor (e.g. Joona 2011; Raitio 2008). International law may be helpful here as
the states that have ratified the ILO Convention are obliged to effectively implement its provisions,
including land rights, participation in decision-making and meaningful consultation.
Many questionnaire respondents noted that the EU should acknowledge indigenous land rights
more and monitor the performance of states regarding indigenous rights. Formal recognition of