We're glad that you've found your way to this website.
This is not one official website, but only a general presentation which was made many years ago when there wasnt any presentation of us the Sami people on the Internet.
It used to have one official status however. So if you are a webmaster or maintainer of any kind of online information and have this site linked with a text referring to any kind of "officialhood" for this website, please make appropriate changes.
If you don't want to read or link to one less-than official native site, but still have a wish to have something on the Sami people, please have a look at this site.
A presentation like this one always have a number of problems, like it could be misunderstood as speaking officially for the Sami nation as a whole. Something which of course are completely impossible, but we know that the sentiments mirrors the views of most. -So for the time being i will let this website remain here since it still receives a decent number of visits and requests for information so that it fulfills it's role as a source of information.
So the original intention will be maintained here as well: A presentation to share information and knowledge so that others may come to understand us. An overview of the native Sami art, culture, current issues, history plus a few pages of recent events presented from an indigenous perspective. We hope that this taken together with the links on a separate page will give an overall picture of the Sami people and what the contemporary life is like.
Saemieh, the reindeerpeople.
The Sami's language, traditional clothing, handicraft, and music, are distinctively different from other ethnic groups in Scandinavia.
In Sweden there is 44 native communitys where the familys derives most of the income from their reindeers, an economy that in most cases is combined with fishing, hunting and crafts.
A majority of the Sami population pursue other careers however, since there isn't enough space for everyone in a habitat that is constantly shrinking due to mining operations, clean-cutting of the forests and the construction of hydroelectric powerplants.
The "Reindeer Husbandry Law" of 1971, allows the Sami some freedom for the economical life within the native communitys. The present law, like its predecessors, does however only regulate the rights of Sami's involved in the reindeerhusbandry. So only those Sami's who carry out reindeer herding have any native land and water rights in the Sami nation. The land and water rights of Sami fishermen and hunters or other Sami's have never been covered by law.
Most Sami's do however have a familymember or a relative who in some way are involved with the reindeers. So the reindeers are still fundamental to the Sami culture and society, with the possible exception for the fishing Seasami's of northwestern Norway.
As with most indigenous peoples the Sami never has had an sovereign state of their own and today they live in an area which have been divided by Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Currently, there are Sami political, cultural and youth organizations in all four countries and a Sami Parliament in each of the three Scandinavian ones.
Why are we writing Sami instead of Lapps on these pages?
"Lapp" means a patch of cloth for mending, thus the name suggests that the Sami are wearing patched clothes, a derogatory term and one that needs to be replaced. The word "Laplander" is also problematic since that could mean any person who lives within this region, also those that are non native. Finally there's a part of the Sami population who always have lived outside the region of "Lapland" such as the Sami's in Swedens, Jemtland and Härjedalen.
As a curiosity I'd like to mention that there's one Sami word that has made it into several of the major languages of this world, that word is Tundra -doesn't it speak volumes about which part of the world this is. :)
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The Sami homeland.
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Last changes to this website: Comment on the verdict of the recent trial + scans.