Indigenizing education: Historical perspectives and present challenges in Sámi education

Pigga Keskitalo, Torjer Olsen

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This chapter discusses the most important issues of educational eras in different phases conducted by the Lutheran Church and four current national states where Sámi people live: Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia. The early phases are described by the civilization process conducted by the Church between the 1600s and the 1850s and nationalism between the 1850s and the 1950s by the national states. These actions created the Sámi’s experiences of oppression, inequality and Othering while at the same time, finding ways to empowerment. Since the 1960s, and in particular, in the last four decades, there has been a process of revitalising and recognising Sámi languages, culture and rights. An important part of this is the expansion of Sámi education with the ambition that everyone in states with Sámi population receives basic knowledge of Sámi history, culture, society and rights. This chapter is based on the first workshop in the Indigenous Pedagogy in Teacher Education (IPED) series funded by Academy of Finland NOS-HS theme to promote the Nordic network in educational fields. This article has two tasks: to present the historical background and development of Sámi education and to discuss the present challenges in Sámi education. An important and innovative perspective in the article is the cross-border dimension of looking at several aspects of Sámi concerns in education, with special focus on teacher education.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArctic yearbook
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Field of science

  • General education


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