The Crown Princess attends the opening of the Sami Parliament

The Crown Princess with Archbishop Antje Jackelén, Chair of the Norwegian Sami Parliament's Plenary Session Tom Sottinen, Speaker Andreas Norlén, County Governor Helene Hellmark Knutsson, President of the Norwegian Sami Parliament Aili Keskitalo, Minister Amanda Lind and Vice President of the Sami Council Åsa Larsson Blind.

The Crown Princess with Archbishop Antje Jackelén, Chair of the Norwegian Sami Parliament's Plenary Session Tom Sottinen, Speaker Andreas Norlén, County Governor Helene Hellmark Knutsson, President of the Norwegian Sami Parliament Aili Keskitalo, Minister Amanda Lind and Vice President of the Sami Council Åsa Larsson Blind. Photo: Pelle T Nilsson/SPA

On Wednesday 1 September, The Crown Princess attended the opening of the Sami Parliament in Lycksele.

The Sami Parliament is a state authority with specific responsibility for language, culture and reindeer herding. The popularly elected parliament consists of 31 members who meet at plenary sessions three times a year.

Ninija Axelsson, Henning Länta and Ante Ovlla Omma Labba present flowers to The Crown Princess.

Ninija Axelsson, Henning Länta and Ante Ovlla Omma Labba present flowers to The Crown Princess. Photo: Pelle T Nilsson/SPA

The Sami Parliament opened with the Sami national anthem being performed in South Sami, Ume Sami, Lule Sami and North Sami.

Chair of the Sami Parliament Daniel Holst welcomed all those present, after which the members of the Sami Parliament were called up.

President of the Sami Parliament Håkan Jonsson gave a speech, after which Speaker Andreas Norlén, Minister Amanda Lind and Archbishop Antje Jackelén greeted the Sami Parliament.

The Chair then declared the Sami Parliament's eighth mandate period 2021–2025 open, after which the members greeted The Crown Princess and the other guests of honour.

During the opening ceremony, Sami artists Saara Hermansson, Inga-Maiia Blind, Jörgen Stenberg and Elin Teilus sang and performed yoik chanting.

The Crown Princess wore the dress that was made for her for the opening of the Sami Parliament in 2009.

The Crown Princess wore the dress that was made for her for the opening of the Sami Parliament in 2009. Photo: Pelle T Nilsson/SPA

The ceremony was attended by The Crown Princess, Speaker Andreas Norlén, Minister Amanda Lind, County Governor Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Archbishop Antje Jackelén, representatives from several Sami villages, associations and organisations, and the Chair of Lycksele Municipal Council. Representatives from the Norwegian Sami Parliament also attended, and the Russian Sami Parliament took part via a digital link.

After lunch, The Crown Princess, Minister Lind and the County Governor had the opportunity to speak with the seven parties, who described their policies and key issues.

The old churchyard

In the afternoon, The Crown Princess, Minister Lind, the County Governor and the Archbishop visited the churchyard at Gammplatsen in Lycksele. Here, Sami curator Mikael Jakobsson and elder Gunel Rönér Douhan from Lycksele Sami Association talked about the churchyard and an event 70 years ago when Sami remains were dug up during an archaeological excavation and displayed in museums. In August 2019, the remains were returned to their original resting place in the churchyard.

The Crown Princess at the churchyard at Gammplatsen in Lycksele.

The Crown Princess at the churchyard at Gammplatsen in Lycksele. Photo: Pelle T Nilsson/SPA

The Forest Museum

The visit concluded with The Crown Princess, Minister Lind, the County Governor and the Archbishop visiting the Forest Museum, where they were shown the Sami section which includes a 17th century Sami drum, Birger Nordin's unique collection of more than 2,000 craft objects, Jöns Paul Mickelsson Hatta's reindeer sculptures, a knife wheel with 100 knifes, and a display of silver objects.

The Crown Princess at the Forest Museum's Sami section.

The Crown Princess at the Forest Museum's Sami section. Photo: Pelle T Nilsson/SPA

The Sami Parliament

The Sami Parliament is both a popularly elected parliament and a state authority. Its work is governed by the Sami Parliament Act (SFS 1992:1433). There is a secretariat consisting of officials who deal with day-to-day duties, and a political level with elected politicians.

Find out more about the Sami Parliament here External link, opens in new window..