The Sami Parliament in Sweden
|The Sami Parliament is situated at Adolf Hedinsvägen 58 in Kiruna. Photo: Carl-Johan Utsi.
The Sami Parliament in Sweden was established in 1993 as a publicly elected body and a state authority, with the overall task of working to achieve a living Sami culture. The Sami Parliament is not a body for self-government. The publicly elected component comprises 31 members who meet three times a year in the Plenary Assembly. Only the President is a full-time employee of the Parliament.
The existence of the Sami Parliament entails a kind of recognition of the Sami as a separate people, even though the status of the Sami people is not written into Sweden's constitution. The Sami Parliament Act states that Sami Parliament's primary purpose is ``to monitor issues that relate to Sami culture in Sweden''. Around twenty government-employed officials work at the office. The political representatives, who are selected by the Sami who are entitled to vote in the Sami Parliamentary election, meet three times a year in the Plenary Assembly. In between assembly meetings, the board is responsible for example for economic management, preparing business and implementing the decisions of the Plenary Assembly.
Controlled by the Swedish Parliament and the Government
The Sami Parliament's operations are controlled by the Swedish Parliament and the Government through laws, ordinances and appropriation decisions. As a state authority, the Sami Parliament has to follow the guidelines in the official appropriations documents that the Government adopts for each year. In the appropriations document, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Affairs (which has overall responsibility as regards Sami issues) describes various targets for different business sectors, as well as what the Sami Parliament has to report at the end of the year.
The Sami Parliament in Sweden, both the publicly elected part and the authority part, received SEK 17 million from the Swedish state in 2004 in order to conduct its operations. From 2005, SEK 3 million has been added for the work of the Sami Information Centre. A further SEK 14.5 million from the state and SEK 5 million from the Sami Fund are distributed each year to Sami culture by the Sami Parliament's Council of Cultural Affairs. Some of this money is earmarked by the state for Sami theatre and library activities. From January 1, 2007, the responsibilities of the Sami Parliament increased, as the Sami Parliament took over the Central Administration for the Reindeer Industry from the Swedish Board of Agriculture and the County Administrative Boards.
The Sami Parliament in Sweden does not yet have its own parliament building. Since 2004, the Sami Parliament's head office has been located in office premises at the former Östermalm School in central Kiruna. There is no assembly room. Since the outset, the Plenary Assembly mets at various locations around Sápmi. Many consider that having its own parliament building is an important symbol and status issue for the Sami Parliament. In March 2004, the former Prime Minister Göran Persson promised that the Sami would be provided with their own parliament building. It would have interesting architecture and be built of wood, according to the Prime Minister. The National Property Board presented the results of its inquiry on 1 April 2005.
On 28 April 2005, the Government decided that the National Property Board could proceed with an architect competition. All the 111 proposals were exhibited in Kiruna for two weeks in October 2005. Five proposals were chosen in December the same year. The winner of the competition was selected in April 2006. The new building 'Badjáneapmi' is drawn by the Murman Architects in Stockholm. According to the original plans the construction of the parliament building would start in 2007, but the construction has been delayed indefinitely.
Senast ändrad: 2009-05-12