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Linking the Indigenous Sami People with Regional Development in Sweden

image of Linking the Indigenous Sami People with Regional Development in Sweden

The Sami have lived for time immemorial in an area that today extends across the Kola Peninsula in Russia, northern Finland, northern Norway's coast and inland, and the northern half of Sweden. The Sami play an important role in these northern economies thanks to their use of land, their involvement in reindeer husbandry, agriculture/farming and food production, and connection with the region’s tourism industry. However, in Sweden, as in the other states where the Sami live, the connections with regional development are often inconsistent and weak, and could do more to support the preservation and promotion of Sami culture and create new employment and business opportunities. This study, together with the OECD’s broader thematic work on this topic, provides actionable recommendations on how to better include the Sami and other Indigenous Peoples in regional development strategies, learning from and incorporating their own perspectives on sustainable development in the process.

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Linking the Sami with regional and rural development policies and programmes

This chapter reflects on how the Sami are included in regional and rural development policies and how this shapes Sami contributions, livelihoods and outcomes. It describes Sami affairs in national and EU policies and regional and local affairs. It explores how the Sami could be better linked with regional development efforts with a particular focus on land management and reindeer herding. Finally, it recommends how policies and programmes could be better structured in order to create an enabling environment for Sami businesses and livelihoods.

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