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Introduction to Sapmi Course

August 16 @ 8:00 am - August 23 @ 10:00 am

| $825.00
Students learn Sami history and respect for the lands as well as skills.

Sami country – known as Sápmi – stretches across the northern part of Scandinavia and Russia’s Kola Peninsula. The Sami have been recognized by the United Nations as an indigenous people, giving them the right to preserve and develop their crafts, language, education, reindeer husbandry, traditions and identity.

We will learn from Sami guides the unique lifestyle of these proud and resilient people, from ancestral connection to the lands to modern challenges and accomplishments of the Sami people in modern times. Our journey will take us above the Arctic Circle and into the forests of northern Sweden.

Traditionally, the Sami have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping and herding sheep. Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. Currently about 10% of the Sami are connected to reindeer herding, providing them with meat, fur, and transportation. 2,800 Sami people are actively involved in herding on a full-time basis. For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved only for Sami people in some regions of the Nordic countries.

The Sami people are the only indigenous people of Scandinavia recognized and protected under the international conventions of indigenous peoples, and are hence the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. Sami ancestral lands span an area of approximately 390,000 km2 (150,000 sq. mi.), which is approximately the size of Norway.

Cost: $825.00 to include all meals, transport and accommodations (flight not included).

 For more information contact Mike at staff@primitiveskills.com


Umea, Sweden
Various Locations
Umea, Sweden
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2 responses to “Introduction to Sapmi Course”

  1. Christine says:

    Hi, could I get more info on the trip and what would we do?

    • Mike Douglas says:

      Yes, of course! Thanks for your interest! The basic construct for the last two years was to camp at different spots through out the experience an meet with Sami guides and instructors as well as work on skills we learned or that were demonstrated. For instance, we went to a northern Sami museum and learned about traditional fishing techniques and then spent the day making gill nets, fishing, and eating the fish over a fire at camp while listening to traditional stories. Myself and Toby Cowren facilitate the move from one camp to another, provide instruction in tracking, outdoor skills, and natural history in between the instruction and experiences we have at the different locations. One day was spent at a series of natural waterfalls where we shared movement and awareness skills in preparation for the next days crossing of the arctic circle. We work in at least one traditional meal each day and also leave time at a local village to explore, shop, as we wind down our trip. At the end we will have spent time with members of the northern and southern Sami of Sweden (there are five major Sami dialects, only two within the borders of Sweden) and learned of their seasonal approaches to shelter, fire making, and food gathering. We will be at the tail end of berry season and the carpet of berries on the forest floor where ever we go is amazing. Below is a picture from our last trip of Maria, one of our Sami Guides sharing stories of her childhood as a Reindeer herder.We will also be checking out petroglyphs, tracking, and traditional wild edibles and medicinals. We also learn traditional stories and the spiritual significance of the shelters, and relationships with the landscape. My favorite is one dealing with the three matriarch spirits of the home, hearth, and entrance way to the Lavvu (portable shelter). I hope this helps. Please ask more questions as you think of them!

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