The reindeer herder

For Mariann, reindeer herding is the very foundation for culture and language.

As a reindeer herder, Mariann is cautious about the development of the petroleum industry, which may jeopardize traditional areas for the reindeer.


Reindeer migrate from inland to coast, and move over vast areas. The land that has traditionally been a scene for these movements is now drawing the attention of investors and entrepreneurs who want to take part in “the new oil and gas adventure”, or the extracting of minerals.

The future of the north thus holds a conflict of interests between those who have used the land in traditional ways, and those who wish to use it for industry purposes.

For Mariann and many others, this is seen as a threat to their very existence as Sami people.

Reindeer herding, and the different outcomes of nature, is for Mariann a natural basis also for the Sami culture, language and traditions.

Seeing how this culture is marginalized, Mariann chose to engage politically, and is now a member of the Norwegian Sámi parliament.

Mariann Wollmann Magga lives with her family in Bjørnevatn outside Kirkenes. She is a reindeer herder, a member of the Norwegian Sami Parliament, and a data entrepreneur with the company Rein Data.

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