The Sámi people is a nation of four countries, with no state of their own. They are an indigenous people of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola peninsula of Russia. Today, February 6th, was their national day, and I want to express my greetings with a picture from a few days ago. The reindeer herders are so few, even few among the Sámi, but this is such an important aspect of Sami culture. During the years of forced assimiliation, the areas of reindeer herding were among the few where the Sami culture and language survived. Today there is less than 3000 people engaged in reindeer herding in all of Norway , and just a tiny fraction of those live in my area. That doesn’t make them less important, on the contrary.
The Sami national day, 6 February, was established in 1992 in Helsinki, to celebrate a crucial event for Sami history. On February 6th of 1917, northern and southern Sámi crossed their National borders to come together for their first meeting in Trondheim, Norway. The first National day was celebrated on 6th February 1993, together with the proclamation of the opening of the International Year of Indigenous People in Jokkmokk (Sweden) by the United Nations. There are about 40,000 Sami in Norway, 20,000 in Sweden, 7,000 in Finland and an estimated 2,000 Sami in Russia.
The Sámi flag (from 1986) in the middle, between the Swedish (blue and yellow) and the Norwegian.