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People & Power - Under Northern Lights

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Published on Nov 28, 2013

In northern Scandinavia, locals are taking on mining giants in a bid to save an ancient environment and way of life.

Europe's far north is a place of spectacular beauty, of mountains and forests, lakes and rivers, illuminated in winter by the ethereal glow of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.

It is also home to an astonishing array of plants and animals which have survived largely thanks to the indigenous people of the area - the Sami.

To this day many Sami follow herds of free-roaming reindeer, maintaining a tradition that has helped preserve their ancient environment into the 21st century.

But in recent years a new species has arrived: the multinational mining company. Keen to exploit the region's extraordinarily rich mineral deposits, the industry is being welcomed by Scandinavian governments who want to share in the bounty of jobs and income they promise to bring.

But the Sami feel that their way of life and the remarkable natural world they inhabit are being put under threat. So they have been fighting back.

Filmmaker Glenn Ellis investigates.

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