Walking through the close growing trees in Karasjok you will find a beautiful building inspired by the nature around it. This hidden treasure has a massive value to the whole nation of Sámi people. The treasure you have found is The Sámi Parliament, and has a lot to offer to those who enter its open doors.
The History of the Parliament
The story of the Sámi parliament starts way before the first parliament, the building or even the first election. It all began with the split of the union between Norway and Sweden. The Sámi people had difficulties with the split, now the borders had change, and could not follow the reindeer as they had always done. This led to the first international congress on the 7th of February 1917 and is now the national day of the Sámi people. After this the Sámi people work together to find solutions for comment problems across the borders. There came more factors that contribute the need to have a political voice for the people. The dam that the Norwegian government wanted to build in Máze had a big impact on the Sámi people, and a few year later, the first Sámi Parliament was sent on the 8th of October 1989 in Karasjok by H,R,H King Olav V.
Today, as the youngest Parliament ever, the 39 representatives meet op four times a year to discuss the issues that has impact on the Sámi people.
The Heart of the Parliament
When you enter the plenary hall, you walk right in to the heart of the parliament. It is here all the magic happens. In this hall, the 39 representatives discuss the in favour for the Sámi people with local, national and international issues.
The first thing that catches you attention is the massive painting by Hilde Schanke Pedersen in the back of the rostrum. The deep blue colour in the background with golden spots forming a circle gives us the impression of the Sámi culture.
Inspired by Nature
Throughout the whole parliament we can see the inspiration of nature, even in the smallest details. It is no secret that the architects Stein Halvorsen and Christian Sundby wanted the Sami culture to shin in this building. They have used the northern lights as a red thread throughout the building to connect the main hall with the plenary hall.
The main hall of the parliament serves both as the foyer and a library. When entering the hall you are taken by the brightness and the great view of the forest. The celling is covered with light balls and shine like a bright night sky. The hall is build up around you as a fence for the reindeer, and as the reindeer you feel safe in the warmth of the building.
When you got the first glance of the plenary hall from outside, you are in no doubt that the inspiration comes from the Lavu. The big cone shaped building has even more similarities with the Lavu on the inside, where the representatives all form a circle around the big opening in the hall, as a fire in the Lavu.