Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle (2021) is a documentary description of the Sámi policy of the Finnish state, the loss of Sámi culture and the Sámi struggle for its existence. It tells about the cultural genocide of the Sámi people and the non-violent struggle for the existence of the Sámi people. The film increases the understanding of the Sámi and how the rights of the Sámi are related to the rights of the land. If the indigenous people do not have access to nature, there are no indigenous people.
I’ve also notice the film listed as The AssimiNation on English-language movie databases.
According to director Doavtter-Piera Suvi Máret/Suvi West on the film’s website (Google translate):
‘Eatnameamet is the collective cry of distress for the Sámi. This film is born from my personal experience of living as a Sámi in this country. Time and time again I come across us on misinformation, prejudice and repressive structures. My people and culture are fighting a silent defense with accelerating colonialism. I felt that I, like other Sámi, had to do something for our future. The film Eatnameamet was born.
The story of colonialism is not my personal story. Nor is it the experience of any other individual Sámi. Exporting countries, forcing Finnishisation, destroying our way of life and narrowing our rights is a common pain for the entire Sámi people. This story could not be told through an individual, it would have been an understatement. As I listened to people, I realised we were in the pain of untreated trauma. For me, Eatnameamet is a collective cry for distress.
I’ve done a movie about love people, and Sámiland point. (Google translate? Perhaps, ‘I’ve made a movie about people I love and from the perspective of Sámpi?’) We Sámi have the right to be heard, but Finns also have the right to know about the Sámi and our situation. Knowledge increases understanding, and understanding is the starting point for the equal coexistence of two peoples in the same country. Ignorance is not the cause of any individual, but it is the fault of oppressive structures. I invite viewers to embark on this journey and step into the Sámi reality for a moment, where they have to fight quietly if they want the culture to be preserved for future generations.’
Eatnameamet sold out its online screenings at the recent 20th DocPoint Helsinki Documentary Film Festival (20 Jan. – 7 Feb., 2021). A webinar was organised to accompany these screenings, this following summary was posted on the documentary’s Facebook page (Google translate):
The weekend’s “Finns who think they own Sámiland” seminar can now be found on DocPoint’s YouTube account. Thank you Petra Laiti, Áslat Holmberg, Emmi Nuorgam and Matti Liimatainen for an important discussion. This was just the beginning, we are going to continue discussions about colonialism throughout the year!
In summary, the biggest difference between Sámi and Finnish land use is in efficiency. From a Sámi perspective, the land is in use, even if it is not built full of infrastructure, houses and mines. Finnish land use, on the other hand, is based on “development”, which often means plundering natural resources and resources. It is also important to ask who will benefit from land use projects?
❗Áslat stated perfectly in the discussion that, for the first time, the Eatnameamet is giving a face to colonialism and showing who is seeking to exploit resources. resurs
Outi Länsman also summarized the main points of our discussion on Twitter:
▪️In the Sámi region, many conflicts related to nature, the environment and land use are due to different perceptions and concepts of different parties.
▪️Researcher Päivi Magga has wisely written that when you want to study what the Sámi people see as culture, and what you want as nature, you have to look at it through the Sámi language.
▪️In conflicts, it is important to be aware of words, language and perceptions associated with words. For example, Northern Sámi does not actually have the word wilderness. If the word is not in the language, then it is not in the worldview either.
▪️Regional decisions on areas often lack a Sámi perspective and one may ask on whose terms the future of the Sámi will be decided?
▪️Sámi customary law is a matter that should be taken into account e.g. land law issues.