Sami rights leader addresses indigenous issues

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Feb 4, 2011

Sami rights leader Magne Ove Varsi is the featured speaker of the 2011 Indigenous Rights Symposium, scheduled for Friday, February 11, and Saturday, February 12, on the UH Mānoa campus.
Varsi is a Sami rights leader and founder/director of the Gáldu Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Kautokeino, Norway. The center was created to increase information about the rights of Sami and other indigenous peoples. It is independent, governed by its own board, and funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusions, and by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He has served as lecturer in journalism at the Sami University College, news editor for SVT Sápmi in connection with the establishment and joint Nordic Sámi TV news on SVT2, NRK 1 and YLE, and president of the Sámi Journalisstaid Seari (Sámi Journalists Association) from 1998-2001. He also addressed the United Nations in New York in May 2010 as part of Indigenous Peoples Month.
The Sami, or Saami, are one of the indigenous peoples of Northern Europe who inhabit the northern areas of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. They thrived until the early 1900s, when Norwegian authorities attempted to eradicate the Sami language and culture.  Pockets of Sami communities thrived and, in 1989, the first Sami parliament in Norway was elected.  In 2005, the Finnmark Act was passed, giving both the Sami Parliament and Finnmark Provincial Council joint responsibility to administer land (96% of the provincial area).
The public events schedule:
Friday, February 11
Topic: Indigenous Self-Determination
Time: 9-11 a.m.
Location: William S. Richardson School of Law: Moot Courtroom
Panelists: Magne Ove Varsi, Melody MacKenzie, Jon Osorio, Noenoe Silva, Esther Kiaāina
Topic: Sustainable Self-Determination: Territories, Lands, and Natural Resources
Time: 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Location: Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies: Hālau O Haumea
Panelists: Magne Ove Varsi, Hōkūlani Aikau, Noelani Goodyear-Kaōpua, Kevin Chang, Guy Kaulukukui, and representatives from Kamehameha Schools and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
Community reception with music by Kūpaoa
Time: 4:30-6 p.m.        
Location: Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies: Hālau O Haumea
Saturday February 12
Topic: Kū I Ka Pono: Transforming Legacy into Vision
Time: 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Location: Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies: Hālau O Haumea
Panelists: Magne Ove Varsi, Peter Mataira, Maile Taualii, Keawe Kaholokula,
Kapena Shim 
A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.
The events are co-hosted by the Norwegian Embassy and UH Mānoa’s Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, William S. Richardson School of Law, College of Social Sciences, John A. Burns School of Medicine’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health, and the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work