Cover of issue 25 of Báiki, with image of sculpture: "NAA", © 2003 Rose-Marie Huuva, reindeer hide and sealskin
I recently received a copy of Báiki: the North American Sámi Journal, which 'is a major English-language source of information about Sámi arts, literature, history, spirituality, and environmental concerns. It also covers news of North American Sámi community events. "Báiki" [bah-h'kee] is the nomadic reindeer-herding society's word for cultural identity and survival, ''the home that lives in the heart. [...] Today the Sámi are incorporating new technologies into the revival of their language [and culture], and they are in the forefront of the worldwide post-colonial Indigenous renaissance. Moreover, having their own parliaments in Norway, Sweden and Finland, the Sámi relationship with their former colonizers is improving as well.'
There is a huge amount of fascinating information in the magazine and online. I'm surprised, for example, to learn that: 'At least 30,000 people of Sámi ancestry live in North America. Some are the descendants of Sámi people who emigrated to the United States and Canada as Norwegians, Swedes, and Finns and some are the descendants of "Lapp" herders from the Alaska Reindeer Project who introduced reindeer husbandry to the Inupiaq and Yup'ik peoples'. These latter people are featured in a travelling exhibit The Sámi Reindeer People of Alaska. I'm going to see this when it comes to Seattle next year.
Faith Fjeld is the founding editor and publisher based in Anchorage, Alaska, and has done an incredible and invaluable job in promoting the Sámi cultural revival with this beautiful biannual publication begun in 1991 and now in its 25th issue. The current issue's theme is "Sámi Identity in Art, Film, Music and Storytelling" with examples of works by many Sámi artists.
I'm excited by the wonderful abundance of inspiring material that has opened up for me. As regular readers may know, I have been slowly learning and writing about the Sámi or Saami (incorrectly called Lapps or Laplanders) branch of the Finno-Ugric family, the Indigenous People of the Nordic and Northeast Russian Arctic regions called Sápmi (incorrectly called Lapland). I've written about their siida and the Skabmagovat film festival (one is being planned in Alaska in 2005), and about some of their music and their sacred stones or seidas.
Lands of the Sámi
The Norwegian Sami parliament link does not seem to work, but there is this on the Sámi of Norway