Stefan Mikaelsson Sámi (Sápmi, Sweden)

Stefan Mikaelsson was born in Vidsel, Sweden on 24.11.1957 to a Sámi family of six, in addition to his parents he has four sisters. After school mr. Mikaelsson followed in his fathers footsteps into the forest Sámi reindeer herding. Their traditional way of life has been going on for several generations in the village of Rödingträsk, belonging into the Sámeby or Sámi herding community of Udtja. The thread weaving through all the activities where Stefan as been involved politically is the advancement of the rights and self-determination of the Sámi people. He is the trusted Elder and the President emeritus of the Parliament. The work that needs to happen should be based in his opinion on the ratification of the ILO 169 and implementation of the UN UNDRIP. Other important themes in his lifework have been the questions of justice and equality, increasing awareness regarding racism towards the Sámi peoples in Sweden, unequal role of women as well as drawing the attention of the larger society to issues such as small-scale business, clean water, food produced locally and living cultural heritage. For example the question of survival of Sámi culture in those areas which are utilized to feed into the global consumption culture are central to his thoughts. Stefan considers the main resource of the Arctic area to be the humans and their traditional knowledge, or know-how which still exists in these areas.