THE BORDER CONFLICT
Since 2005, Sweden and Norway have been unable to agree on a new border agreement for border-crossing reindeer herding. As a result, it has become illegal for Sami people and their reindeer herds to cross national borders.
In the last two years, the Norwegian Government has limited the period and number of Swedish reindeer grazing on the Norwegian side. The Saarivuoma, on the other hand, claim that they have the right to keep the animals in Norway, as their ancestors have always done. In any case, Norwegian legislation is not in line with the law of nature. Many reindeer did not return from Norway this autumn because winter started very early and the animals got stuck in Norway.
The Saarivuoma got fined for each animal that stayed too long on the Norwegian side. If they end up losing these lands, it would mean the end of reindeer herding for the Saarivuoma, as their herd cannot survive without access to their summer pastures in the highlands on the Norwegian side. But the Saarivuoma people are combative. They have decided to take legal action against the Norwegian authorities and demand the right to use the land.