Sami Domicile Area

Sami Domicile Area ("Saamelaisten kotiseutualue" in Finnish, "Sámiid ruovttuguovllu" in Sami language, "Samernas hembygdsområde" in Swedish) is the northernmost part of the Lapland Province in Finland, home of approximately half of Finland's Sami population. The area is defined in and protected by the Finnish constitution (17 § and 121 §) to be autonomous on issues relating to the Sami culture and language.

The Sami Domicile Area consists of municipalities of Enontekiö, Utsjoki and Inari as well as a part of the municipality of Sodankylä. Finns are the majority population on the area. The main purpose of the Domicile Area is to form the Sami Parliament ("Saamelaiskäräjät") every four years. Eligible in elections are only Sami residents. Legal status was achieved in 1973.

Depending on the definition of what a "Sami" is, various percentages may be given for Sami population's share in different municipalities. The Finnish Population Registry Center defines a Sami as a person whose mother tongue is Sami. Based on this, the Sami percentages in the municipalities are:

* Inari 5.7%
* Enontekiö 7.4%
* Utsjoki 46.7%
* Sodankylä 1.4%

However, the Finnish Sami Parliament applies a wider definition by defining a Sami as a person who considers himself a Sami and had at least one parent or grandparent who spoke a Sami language. Thus the official percentages are:

* Inari 30%
* Enontekiö 19%
* Utsjoki 70%
* Sodankylä 4%


* [ Constitution of Finland] (in English)
* [ Sami Domicile Area by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland] (in English)
* [ Sami Domicile Area by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland] (in Finnish)

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