Sami Culture Policy Summit

Illustration: Erica Huuva

Sami Culture Policy Summit

6-7th of March 2019 in Umeå, Sweden

Summit 2019 programme

The Sami Culture Policy Summit will contribute to the future of Sami cultural policy by raising awareness about the situation of indigenous peoples and the Sámi cultural sector in all parts of the Swedish society. We will talk about how to reach out to new audiences, how to expand networks and create new opportunities for Sami artists and organisations. At the summit we will discuss the future of culture policy in Sápmi and how the Sámi cultural sector can be developed.

The objective is to create a strategic long-term direction for Sámi culture policy in Sápmi, as part of indigenous peoples in the world.

Culture plays a significant part in development of society and strengthening democracy. The role of Sami culture in community building and visibility of indigenous peoples are essential, in line with international experiences. By inviting international and indigenous experts to the summit, we want to explore other perspectives and examples of policy and development.

The Sami cultural institutions in Sweden have the ambition to visualize, problematize and contribute to the understanding about the Sami people. The Sami cultural institutions – Giron Sámi Teáhter (theatre), Sámi Duodji (handicraft), Tráhppie cultural centre, Sami Library and Gaaltije, south Sami cultural centre, alongside the Mountain and Sami Museum Ájtte, are the main arenas of Sami culture. The funding from the Swedish state towards Sami culture is seriously underfinanced. In comparison, the Norwegian state funding towards Sami culture is seven to eight times higher than that of the Swedish state. This means that Sami culture exist on a very fragile basis that limits it’s possibilities.

Sweden is repeatedly criticized for the treatment of its own indigenous people. Primarily, the international criticism is about strengthening the opportunities for indigenous peoples to retain and develop their culture in their traditional land areas, to participate in meaningful and effective decision-making processes at local, regional and national level and to secure Sami influence when decisions are made that affect them. Critics also clearly stress the need for specific legislation, such as ILO169, to protect Sami rights. Såhkie – Umeå Sámi association has therefore taken the initiative, in collaboration with Gíron Sámi Téahter, to a summit with the aim of highlighting, cultivating and creating a strategic long-term direction for Sami cultural policy in Sápmi, as part of the indigenous peoples of the world.

Såhkie, as organizer, invites cultural actors in Sápmi and the Nordic region, international and indigenous experts, Sami culture organisations and artists, government agencies, politicians, civil servants, researchers and professionals involved in the Sami community.

6th –  7th of March 2019

Teepees on the main square (Rådhustorget) in Umeå, Sweden. Map

The summit is the central theme of Ubmejen Biejvieh’s 20th anniversary. The Sami week organized by Såhkie.

Tentative Programme» – Sami Culture Policy Summit

6th of March, 11.00 a.m. – 21.45 p.m.
10:00 – 13:00  Registration
12:00 – 12:45  Lunch in Teepees at the main square Rådhustorget, map
12:45 – 13:00  Performance with Maj Doris Rimpi and Åsa Simma
13:00 – 13:05  Welcome Michael Lindblad, president of Såhkie Sami Association
13.05 – 13:15  Opening speech Amanda Lind, Minister for Culture and Democracy
13:20 – 13:45  Keynote Stephen Loft
13.50 – 14:15   The Sámi Culture Institutions and their conditions
14:20 – 14:30  The Sámi Council with Ingrid Inga
14:35 – 15:05  The Conditions for Sámi Artists. Panel discussion Sámi’s from different cultural fields
15:05 – 15:25  Coffee break
15:30 – 15:55  Keynote Kaisa Rautio Helander
16:00 – 16:20  The four Northern Regional Council’s in Sápmi/Sweden
16:25 – 16:35  Performance with Biret Risten Sara
16:40 – 17:15  How can Sámi cultural development be strengthened? Panel discussion with Sámi representatives and officials and politicians in the cultural sector
17:20 – 17:30  Summing-up day 1
17:30 – 18:00  Sámi art by Umeå university, shown at Rådhuset, Rex
18:30 – 20:30  Dinner at Sävargården, map
20:30 – 21:45  Coffee and mingle at Tráhppie map with opportunity to visit Sámi camp’s in the area.

7th of March 2019, 09.00 a.m. – 12.00. p.m.
09:00 – 09:10  Summit day 2 starts with Cultural feature
09:10 – 09:35  Sámi Culture and the future – what’s in it for Sámi children and youth? Panel discussion
09:35 – 10:05  Keynote Dale Turner
10:00 – 10:35  The importance of indigenous rights for cultural and social development
10:35 – 11:00  Coffee break
11:00 – 11:10  Performance
11:15 – 11:50   How do we continue? Conclusion and end of the Summit.
11:50 – 12:00  Closing remarks for the Summit
12:00 – 13:00  Lunch

Summit 2019 programme


Keynote speakers:
Stephen Loft

director of the Aboriginal Arts Office of the Canada Council for the Arts, Mohawk of the Six Nations with Jewish heritage

Kaisa Rautio Helander
professor of Sámi onomastics at Sámi allaskuvla, Norway. Among her current research interests are theoretical and methodological questions concerning Sámi toponymy, challenges of recognition and restoration of indigenous toponymy in official naming contexts and colonial naming practices in indigenous areas.
Title of her talk:
Decolonization of naming practices: Right to designate and retain indigenous names for communities and places

Dale Turner
professor at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA, works mostly on Indigenous rights, sovereignty, and nationhood in Canada. He is a citizen of the Temagami First Nation on the homelands of the Teme-Augama Anishinaabe in northern Ontario


Eva Conradzon 070-354 51 06
Sanne Ristin Bengtsson  073-034 44 78

Michael Lindblad 070-367 40 43