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THE SAMI PEOPLE AND THE LAND OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN

The Sami People are among the largest indigenous groups in Europe and inhabit parts of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia and their ancestral lands cover an area roughly the size of Sweden. Numbering somewhere around 100,000 the majority of the population is located in Norway followed by Sweden, Finland and Russia.

Livelihoods have ranged from fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding but they are best known for reindeer herding where approximately 3000 are actively involved and herding is legally reserved only for the Sami people in certain regions of the North.

The Sami People have survived for over 2500 years by adapting to the Arctic north and are represented by three Parliaments with limited influence and controlled largely by the Scandinavian Governments. The representatives are concerned largely with border questions and the promotion of cultural autonomy.

In Kautokeino approximately 90 percent of the population speaks Sami and it is the home of a high school and reindeer herding school here also is the International Center for Reindeer Husbandry and it is considered the cultural capital for the Sami People.

Karasjok is the home of the Norwegian Sami Parliament, located here as well are the Sami Collections Museum and the Sami Art Center.

A one and ½ hour flight from Stockholm to Kiruna will provide a convenient starting point for a more detailed study visit and at the same time an opportunity to visit Jukkasjärvi the home of the famous Ice Hotel.

For those looking for peace and tranquility the natural beauty of the arctic north provides a perfect setting and a few days spent at Kronogård Viildmark at Kåbdalis will be just the thing. Daily excursions are arranged for guests encountering wild life and magnificent views. While here you will also have an opportunity to stand on the Arctic Circle just a few kilometers to the north.

During the summer months beginning in mid May and continuing through mid August the North of Scandinavia becomes the land of the Midnight Sun. At the end of June areas of the north enjoy 24 hours of daylight.

Portions of this article were found through a Wikipedia search.



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