Learning about the Sami people at the Kathryn A. Martin Library

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Duluth residents visited University of Minnesota Duluth at Kathryn A. Martin library to learn about the Sami people. The Sami originate in a territory known as Sápmi, which include the northern parts Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula in Russia.

Chelsey Miller, a bibliographer for the Sami Collection, and Matt Rosendahl, the Director of Kathryn A. Martin Library, held a talk with students and Duluth residents. They shared with students their travels to the artic circle and their learning about the Sami people.

Chelsey Miller said some of indigenous languages of the Sami people, do not have any active speakers. However, there is work being done to keep those languages alive, as some people do have a knowledge of them. “Language revitalization is really important right now as it is with many Indigenous groups,” Miller said. “I think that Sami people are really actively trying to make sure that’s a focus in school and all the way up into the college studies.”

Miller said while the Sami people do have a say in laws involving culture and land, sadly they have difficulties with changing environmental regulations for their hunting and fishing. “Mining is a big issue especially in Norway and Sweden,” Miller said. “It’s not good because it impacts reindeer herding and many other things.”

Miller also said if people are curious about learning about the Sami people anyone is welcome at UMD’s library to look at items from their Sami collection (it’s not an archival collection) and it’s a great way to learn about the culture and people.

The Sami Cultural Center is also a great resource and found in Duluth. For more information about the Sami Cultural Center you can look here. Also for other stories happening at UMD you can read more here.