The Context

Context - Introduction

Sami pupils

The Sami people, one of Europe’s indigenous populations, live in the northern parts of Scandinavia, Finland and Russia. The traditionally nomadic Sami used to inhabit great areas in Northern Europe, but were gradually pushed northwards by the current majority populations of the Nordic countries and northwestern Russia. A clear majority of the Sami live in Norway. In the Nordic countries, the Sami have their own parliaments and cultural institutions (e.g. language, flag, national costume) and a, at least to some degree, functioning relationship to the government of each state. However, this has not always been the case. Through this case study you will learn about the strong nationalism in early twentieth century Norway and how it influenced the education of the Sami especially in the northern Finnmark county. Later, this will be linked to the bigger picture of the relationship between nation states and (indigenous) minorities and the rights of the indigenous peoples.


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