This article tries to explain an apparent legal anomaly: Norway, Sweden and Finland seem generally quite similar, but they have differed in their behaviour vis-à-vis the ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries. Norway was the very first state to ratify C169, in June 1990. Sweden and Finland, however, are yet to ratify. How can the differing actions of these three neighbouring northern states as regards ratification of C169 be explained?

Keywords: ILO Convention 169, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, The Sami, Nordic States, Ratification of Human Rights Treaties.