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Documentary & Report

No Room for Sweden's Reindeer

Sweden’s far north is still home to 20,000 indigenous Sami. Their culture is based on reindeer. But wind farms and mining drive away the animals and they can no longer find enough food.

The Sami have lost their cultural assurance and their economic situation is desperate - that much is reflected by their suicide rate, which is twice as high as in the rest of the country. They cannot rely on support from the government in Stockholm. Jobs in industry are more important in the structurally weak expanses of northern Sweden than the culture of the indigenous population. This film depicts the lives of the Sami, caught between modernity and tradition. Margret Fjellström and her husband keep reindeer. Her husband spends the majority of the year with the herd. But good pastures are getting rare. More and more wind farms are being built, the mining industry is destroying huge areas and the animals can’t find enough food anymore. Many are killed by wolves and bears - both protected species. At home the mother tries to build better prospects for her two daughters than keeping reindeer.