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Saami Council Urges Square Enix to Remove Far Northern Attire From FFXIV

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The Saami Council is demanding that Square Enix remove the Far Northern Attire set of cosmetics from FFXIV. The President of The Saami Council, Áslat Holmberg, states that this is because elements from the outfit are the property of Sámi culture. To use them in Final Fantasy XIV without consulting the Sámi people is infringing upon their rights.

Holmberg states that this is not about sensitivity, nor is it about whether or not the depictions of Sámi culture is appropriate or not. To use Sámi cultural attire without consultation is breaking intellectual property laws. The agreement that the Sámi people have with entertainment companies state that “their collective and individual elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi.”

According to Holmberg, Square Enix should be more than aware of intellectual property laws, including ones surronding the Sámi. Thus it has no excuse for releasing the Far Northern Attire without first communicating with the group. Another issue is that Sámi clothing traditions have significant meaning and context when it comes to the Sámi identity. The Saami Council believes that allowing 41 million FFXIV players to dress themselves in their clothing would “contribute to the erosion” of the culture.

The Sámi people have collaborated with media and entertainment companies in the past. In its letter, it specifically references Walt Disney Animation Studios. The Frozen franchise draws inspiration from Sámi culture, and representatives spoke to actual Sámi people when making the first one. Verddet, a Sámi group, helped to provide consultation when Disney was working on Frozen 2. The Saami Council reiterates that it is happy to collaborate with entertainment companies. However, there are proper procedures in place. Since the matter at hand has to do with indigenous rights to their own culture and properties, Holmberg hopes that this will lead to more discussion surrounding the usage of it across multiple industries.

Final Fantasy XIV is readily available on the PS4, PS5, and Windows PC.

Stephanie Liu
Stephanie is a Canadian writer, translator, anime fan, and gamer who has been writing and gaming ever since she was four. She loves RPGs, simulations, and action games. Big animanga fan and was one of those girls who did school projects on anime. Only exhibits her true power at night. Aside from writing for Siliconera, she translates for light novels and video games.