Meet Maja Krïhke – Maja Kristine Jåma (Fovsen Njarke sitje/Fosen)

Baajh vaeride årrodh! La fjella lev‪e‬

Pluriversal Resistance Radio had the great joy of speaking to Majja-Krïhke – Maja Kristine Jåma, a 27 year old Åarjelsaemien (South Saepmie) landprotector and bovtsealmetje (reindeerherder). Maja Kristine lives with her partner and their dog in Snåase /Snåsa, a small town in the middle of Norway/Saepmie. She grew up in a reindeer herding family by Gåetiejaevrie (Godtvatnet). Maja Kristine has her own reindeers in the Åarjel Fovsen Njarke sitje, the southernmost coastal reindeer herding area in Norway/ Saepmie. In addition to being a reindeer herder, she is a Åarjelsaemien/South Saepmie cultural carrier and language* teacher. She also practices and teaches duedtie**, and since August 2020 she has been a political advisor for the Council of the Sámi Parliament /Sámediggi. She is dedicated to Sámi matters, particularly those related to land rights, reindeer herding and the language. Majja-Krïhke loves spending her time in nature and in the mountains.

Maja Kristine recently took part in creating and publishing the booklet/guide «Sjædtoeh”; medicinal plants in the South Sámi areas. The booklet is based on the aimto document and continue the knowledge about medicinal plants that have traditionally been used in the South Sami area. A central part of the project has been to collect South Sami words and expressions in connection with the use of medicinal plants.

We caught up her at the end of 2020 to listen to her story. Her family, the Åarjel Fovsen Njaarke Sijte, are fighting to protect their land against Europe´s largest windmill farm project Fosen Wind /Fosen Vind, which was completed in 2020. 38 square kilometers of unique mountain nature has been destroyed and converted into an industrial area by Fosen Vind; including 59 kilometers of road, 80 x 87 meters wind turbines with rotors of a diameter of 117 meters.

About Fovsen /Fosen:(Source: Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) Switzerland):

Fosen is a peninsula on the west coast of Norway/Saepmie, some 15 kilometers north of Trondheim. In 2016, the construction of Norway’s largest onshore wind project, Fosen Vind DA, comprising six power plants, began. Completion is scheduled for 2020. The largest of the six wind power plants is to operate in Åfjord, in the mountain area called “Storheia” (which translates as ‘large hill’). Storheia is one of three main winter pasture areas used by a southern Sami reindeer- herding community, the Åarjel Fovsen Njaarke Sijte, also called the “South Group”. The wind turbines and additional infrastructure will make it impossible for them to utilize some 44 percent of their winter pastures.3 This will force the Sami people to reduce the size of their herds. Reducing the herds will lead to such a reduction in income that not all three families will be able to continue making a living out of the activity. Consequently, as will be described in detail below, one of the three remaining families will have to give up their traditional herding activities, violating their collective and individual rights as indigenous Southern Sami. This also raises the question of whether the remaining two families will be able to continue, as the collective work burden will remain the same, in spite of reduced herds. The construction project in Storheia thus puts the very existence of southern Sami reindeer husbandry on the Fosen peninsula at great risk. The loss of this land will mean that the last remaining breeding families will essentially have to give up their livelihood and culture.

To support Fovsen Njarke sitje´s upcoming courtcase, you can here:
Sørgruppa Fosen rbd – konto nr: 4410.08.07227
IBAN NR: NO1244100807227 + BIC (SWIFT) SPTRNO22

This podcast features music by Marja Mortensson. The vulie “Onne Lim” (When I was Young) from the Aarehgïjre album, (2015).