The Samediggi and Alta Museum invited delegates to a seminar on Sami cultural heritage and place names in the break on Tuesday.
I had the privilege of listening to Audhild Schanche a senior adviser at the Samediggi. Her lecture was ti tled 'The past is present: Sami cultural heritage and landscape'. Audhild placed us in Sapmi - Sameland. Giving us visitors a glimpse into Sami family lifestyle and sites of significance. Showing images of Fossil Beach at Ceavccageadgi (Mortensnes) and pit houses from 1000BC.
This was followed by a lecture on Sami place names and the struggle for recognition.
Article 100a of the Constitution: 'It is the responsibility of the authorities of the State to create conditions enabling the Sam people to preserve and develop their language, culture and way of life'.
Alta has the largest concentration of rock art in Northern Europe made by Sami people. After the speakers, the people who braved the cold and rain where able to partake in a guided tour to see the artwork up close. The work has been highlighted by archealogists with a orange/redish ochre paint (believed to be close to the original colour), this practice has now stopped. The rock art is believed to be approximately 7,000 years old. The entire area is now on the UNESCO'S World Heritage list.