After a discussion, web poll, and call-out to members, some of us gathered in Tacoma today to show support for Idle No More. Soon after, the photo above was posted on Facebook with our statement:
We, the members of Pacific Sámi Searvi (Sámi Americans in the Pacific Northwest) stand together with our Sámi brothers and sisters in solidarity with the Idle No More movement.
Within three hours, the photo was “liked” over 900 times and shared over 200 times. Wow.
Among the Facebook comments was a not-unexpected question: What is a Sami?
PSS member and PLU Professor Troy Storfjell answered:
“The Sámi are the Indigenous people of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia, sometimes referred to as ‘Lapps’ or ‘Laplanders.’ There are 9 Sámi languages. Although reindeer herding is the most well-known Sámi livelihood, fishing, hunting and small-scale farming and sheep-raising are also traditional ways of life. Sámi participated in the co-founding of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples in the 1970s, and participate in a number of global Indigenous forums and organizations today.”
Indigenous and non-indigenous people around the world are uniting to support the goals of Idle No More. The Sámi Parliament issued a statement of support on January 11th, as reported here earlier, joining a river of other voices. Why the surge of international support?