Last Yoik in Saami Forest? (2007)


Northern Lapland, homeland to Northern Europe’s indigenous Saami people, contains Western Europe’s largest wilderness area, currently at the heart of unresolved Saami land claims. In cold Arctic winters, old-growth forests provide arboreal hanging lichen, the lifeline for free-grazing reindeer, who are the basis of Saami herding culture. Meanwhile, the state-owned forest company Metsähallitus is destroying important grazing forests, vital to the reindeer. In 2005, conflicts between Saami herders and government interests flared when the herders started an international campaign to save the forest from logging. It escalated as forestry workers, supported by Metsähallitus, set up a harassment camp next to a Greenpeace Forest Rescue Station in the disputed forests. Last Yoik exposes an emotional struggle for a dying way of life.

Hannu Hyvönen is a 53 year old environmentalist, campaigner, journalist and documentary filmmaker. His pacifist radio play Ohi on was broadcast in 1995 on Yle in Sweden. He has also produced a radio documentary on an indigenous youth conference in Saamiland. He has been producing video documentaries since 19993 and belongs to a video cooperative.

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