Ságastallamin comes from North Sámi, and it means having a conversation. This exhibition tells the story of the Indigenous languages spoken in the Arctic region, their past, present, and hope for revitalization in the future.

In this exhibition, we present the region, the Peoples, and the languages that they speak. We look at some of the challenges the languages have faced in the past and continue to face into the modern day. Finally, we learn about some revitalization efforts taking place around the circumpolar Arctic, made possible with the help of new laws protecting the languages and their status, state-funded institutions, regional corporations, community-based initiatives, and modern technology.

This exhibition is produced in collaboration between UiT The Arctic University of Norway University Library and the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat. The University of Tromsø has a national responsibility in Norway for research, education, and knowledge-production regarding Sámi history, language, and culture. The university offers many courses and programs such as a Master’s program in Indigenous Studies. The Centre for Sami studies (Sesam) is the main research body for Sámi and Indigenous issues at the university.

To support these programs the University Library established a special collection of Indigenous literature. The collection contains more than 7000 items, mostly literature about Sámi history and culture, but also contains material translated into Sámi. In addition, the collection contains material about other Indigenous Peoples from for example North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

The Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat, based at the Fram Centre in Tromsø, Norway, supports the six Indigenous Peoples’ organizations that have Permanent Participant status in the Arctic Council. The Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among the Arctic States, Arctic Indigenous Peoples and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues.

Exhibition project team: Anna Degteva, Astrid Sømhovd, Erik Lieungh, Erlend Hagan, Helene N. Andreassen, Linnea Nordström, Mark Stenersen, Michaela Stith, Michelle Saunders, Sunna Kokkonen, and Åse Mette Johansen.

Thank you to all the organizations and individuals who have provided us with information, photographs, or other assistance with the research, design, and promotion of the exhibition.

Photos

Map: CAFF, 2013
Photo: Ørjan Marakatt Bertelsen

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