Tjuottjodit is the Lule Sámi verb ”to take care of something, administrate”. Laponiatjuottjudus is the management of Laponia World Heritage Site. It is a locally based organisation with its head office in Jåhkåmåhkke/Jokkmokk. Laponiatjuottjudus took over responsibility for the management of Laponia from the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten County on 1 January 2013, and is now developing new methods to manage the World Heritage Site together with the people living in and around the area. The World Heritage Site is a single entity, whose main cornerstones are
- Sámi culture and the reindeer industry
- The historical heritage.
Tjuottjodit is a Lule Sámi word meaning to take care of something, to manage. The Sámi delegates are in the majority on the committee, but all decisions are to be made with the consent of all parties.
The parties are
- The Sámi communities in Laponia: Baste čearru, Sirges, Tuorpon, Unna tjerusj, Jåhkågaska tjiellde, Gällivare Forest Sámi community, Luokta Mávas, Slakka and Udtja
- Jåhkåmåhkke/Jokkmokk and Jiellevárre/Gällivare municipalities
- The County Administrative Board In Norrbotten County
- The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
These have jointly established a non-profit association with its head office in Jåhkåmåhkke/Jokkmokk.
Laponiatjuottjudus considers itself a tentative management, trying out new ways to bring the decisions as close as possible to those whom it concerns. It is a management based on local participation and a shared responsibility for the World Heritage Site. During the work to develop modern management of Laponia it was emphasised that Laponia should be managed with a holistic perspective, a sustainable perspective and a developmental perspective.
Laponiatjuottjudus manages Laponia until December 2022. The long-term ambition is to make Laponiatjuottjudus a more permanent entity.
The objective of the management:
The Laponia World Heritage Site is to be managed in a way that safeguards its values for the future. The World Heritage Site is an asset for development. The management of the World Heritage Site is a joint venture which respects the different backgrounds of the parties involved and is to be carried out in accordance with the Management Plan. The management work is a learning process (searvelatjna), which is constantly developed and renewed based on the basic values. Laponiatjuottjudus is a model for the management of natural and cultural values.
Important working methods
Rádedibme has a central function in the management. Rádedibme/councils are open meetings that are held on important management issues together with the local population and interest groups. The idea is to make use of local viewpoints and knowledge about the management of Laponia.
To manage an area as big as Laponia requires working methods which make use of people’s different views on culture and nature. Searvelatnja means “learning arena” and is a working method that was established early on in the process of forming the management of Laponia.
Searvelatnja is a concept with its roots in Sámi culture and is a working method based on dialogue and learning. On a conceptual level this means that Laponia should be an arena where everyone can participate, a meeting place for several generations, cultures, languages and perspectives. By working together we learn from each other and share each other’s knowledge. How Laponia is to be managed is an ongoing process, where an unpretentious approach is adopted, in view of the fact that we have a lot to learn about how to create a local management that sees to the interests of all parties concerned.
Consensus is sought in Laponia, a process of joint decision-making where everyone must be in agreement before a decision is made
Oassebielráde/ Council of the Parties
The Council of the Parties is the annual meeting of Laponia for all the entities that manage the World Heritage Site. This meeting does not appoint a committee: the parties themselves decide who will represent them in Laponiatjuottjudus. However, consensus is required when electing the chairperson.