New article: “Safeguarding Cultural Rights of Sámi Children and Youth in Finland”

An article about the cultural rights of indigenous young people that has special emphasis on the linguistic aspect of cultural identity.

Article published in The Yearbook of Polar Law by Tanja L. Joona of U. Lapland and the NUORGÁV project.


The article examines the common global phenomenon of indigenous urbanization. In Finland, more than 75% of the indigenous Sámi children are born outside the Sámi Homeland area. The development is fast and poses different kind of challenges for the entire Sámi society and culture. Youth and women are more likely to settle in urban areas and it is their Sáminess that is to survive or die in the cities. Indigenousness is no longer tied with traditional livelihoods or land use but instead requires other forms of cultural maintenance. In the contemporary situation Sámi have started through their own associations and networks require more appropriate services in the cities, including Sámi language learning in the schools and kindergartens. This is not always satisfactory. The article evaluates the existing international and domestic (Finland) legislation in regard to Sámi language, but also the implementation of these rights in practice.

Article homepage here.

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