Indigenous Artist Protesting Norway's Reindeer Policy
Maret Anne Sara displayed a curtain of bullet-filled skulls outside Norway’s parliament building in Oslo. The artist hung 400 reindeer skulls in protest of Norway’s policy of slaughtering overpopulated animals.
“That was my starting point — the feeling of total helplessness against the government.” She explained.
Sara is from Norway’s indigenous Sami community, where her brother herds reindeer. He was ordered by the government to slaughter 41 of his 116 reindeer, as part of an attempt to stop overpopulation.
“The government is violating both of his property right which is protected by international human rights — and indigenous rights — the right to carry out and live according to his culture.” Stated Sara.
220,000 reindeer live in Norway’s arctic tundra and Sara’s brother challenged the government, saying he can’t make a living with lower herd numbers. But he eventually lost the battle, according to Business Insider. The Norwegian Supreme Court stated that the cull did not violate his rights.
“As I read it, the ruling doesn’t take into account the rights of the Sami people,” said Trond Pedersen Biti, a defense lawyer in the case.
Sara says the policy is ‘totally wrong and unfair” and she’s displaying her evidence at the capital.