For the first time in history Sami organisations, Sami activists, Enviromental oranisations and activists raised up together against the Norwegian government. There were several big demonstrations. Two of the main ones took place from 1978 to 1982 in Alta and 1979 in Oslo.

In Oslo seven young Samis declared that they started a hungerstrike, since the Norwegian government and the Norwegian Parliament had stated that they were willing to use force in order to make the Alta dam. The seven young samis hungrystriked for one week. The Norwegian government tried to send the police, but people of Oslo gave so much warm support, that the Norwegian Primeminister Oddvar Nordli finally had to make the statement everyone was waiting for. The primeminister made the statement - that the construction works should stop, and that there should be a examiation of the legitime rights of the Sami people.

After that the Sami Right Comission was established. It made a report, which resulted that the Norwegian constitution got a Sami article where the Sami culture and soceity is formally recognised. The Sami rights comission also proposed that there should be established a Sami Parliament. The Sami Parliament was established, and the elections took place for the first time in 1989.

The Alta dam project became a reality. The Norwegian government had an army of policemen in one of the coldest days in Sami history. 12 years later the Norwegian prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland regreted the whole project. The environmentalists are not as friendly now as they were then. Now they are accusing the traditional Sami reindeerherding for beeing pollutive.

Photos from the Sami hungerstrike in Oslo.

[The Cyber-Lavvu]