Sámi Homeland is Located in Northernmost Parts of County of Lapland in Finland.

The Sámi are the only indigenous people within the area of European Union. Sámiland extends across vast areas in Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia. In Finland, Sámiland covers the area of Sámi Homeland which includes the Municipalities of Enontekiö, Inari and Utsjoki and the northern part of the Municipality of Sodankylä, that is, the area around Vuotso village.

Sámiland is Sápmi in North Sámi, Säämi In Inari Sámi and Sääʹmm in Skolt Sámi.

When Visiting Sámiland

Sámiland has been home to Sámi people since time immemorial. When visiting Sámiland, you are in a special and precious cultural landscape that has been formed and sustained by everyday life and festivities of the Sámi, the only indigenous people within the area of the European Union. This living cultural landscape enables the vitality and wellbeing of Sámi culture and transmission of it all to future generations. Do not jeopardise the richness and diversity of Sámi culture through your own actions.

In all the places, where our deeds and footprints reach and affect, we all share responsibility of our future together. Let us make today more responsible and ethically sustainable, together. Tomorrow’s generations also need all this beauty and richness to live and experience.

Domestic Privacy

Kotirauha - hyvä Kotirauha - huono

Enter the sphere of domestic privacy only as invited guest.

Respect the boundaries and protection of the local population’s privacy. Pay special attention to the constitutional right of domestic privacy including inviolability of the home. Domestic privacy includes also the reindeer fences near houses.

Private Persons Do Not Wear Sámi Dress for Tourists.

Rauha juhlat Rauhaton juhlat
Rauha arki Rauhaton arki

Myth of Untouched Wilderness

Untouched wilderness does not exist in Sámi Homeland, even if it may seem so to the outsider. The Sámi have traditionally utilised nature without leaving material traces on the fragile environment of the North.

What may be ‘wilderness’ for a visitor, is home for the local Sámi people, and for many, also a source of livelihood and subsistence economy unconnected to tourism. While there may be no visible signs of human presence in nature, there is not a single place or area in Sámi Homeland that does not have a Sámi name and that has no cultural use or significance related to a season.

Challenges of Indigenous Tourism

Get acquainted with the indigenous people through their own words and ways, stories and encounters.

Indigenous people are often left with a role of mystical stereotypes stuck in past, invented by the imagination of outsiders, or faded out into total invisibility from their own living cultural landscape.

Visit Sámi Homeland with open and fresh mind and eyes, without prejudice.

Listen and hear how the indigenous people want to introduce themselves to the world.

Living Cultural Landscape

Saamenpukukartta Saamelaisten kotiseutualue

There is a diverse number of co-existence and activities in living cultural landscape depending on seasons.

Living cultural landscape is a place where local communities live their everyday lives and celebrate their life events. In the Sámi worldview, people, nature and language are not seen as separate. The Sámi language reflects a deep and thorough knowledge of the surrounding nature, both animate and inanimate, and a close and very specific interaction between humans and nature. The natural, cultural, social and linguistic environments form a holistic entity, a concept of environment that must be considered as a whole, because its elements are interdependent.

Respect local communities’ habitat and nature’s seasonal cycles.
Be considerate of the living cultural landscape and all of its living beings.

Traditional Sámi Livelihoods

Traditional livelihoods are important part of everyday life in Sámi Homeland

The interrelationship between traditional livelihoods and culture is central in Sámi society. Livelihoods, that are related to land use, form the material basis for Sámi culture and identity and maintain the vitality of Sámi Homeland, Sámi language, traditional knowledge, relationship with nature, the social cohesion of Sámi culture, and Sámi handicrafts. The traditional Sámi livelihoods are reindeer herding, fishing, hunting, gathering of natural products, Sámi handicrafts, small-scale farming, and modern ways of practising them. Of these, reindeer herding remains one of the significant cornerstones of Sámi culture, as it offers crucial employment opportunities and, thereby, helps keeping the peripheral areas of the country inhabited while providing a culturally significant arena for language use and materials, among others, for clothing, handicrafts and food culture.

Contribute to the preservation and intergenerational transmission of traditional Sámi livelihoods by taking into consideration their needs and living space and peace.

Traditional livelihoods are the part of culture you can explore only as en invited and guided guest.

Books and museums provide knowledge about Sámi. Practical experience can be gained as an invited guest.

Frightening of Reindeer

Do not frighten the reindeer!

It is prohibited by law to frighten the reindeer.

Reindeer is a semiwild animal. It gets scared easily and may rush to escape.

Get acquainted with reindeer and its life only with the guidance of its owner.

Reindeer Husbandry Act 14.9.1990/848 Section 42 – Preventing the Frightening of Reindeer

Reindeer must not be frightened. Compensation must be paid for any damage or inconvenience caused to the reindeer owner and the reindeer herding co-operative as a result of frightening.

Herd and River Shore Peace

Tokkarauha Tokkarauhan rikkominen

Give the traditional livelihoods the peace they need.

This traditional livelihood peace covers, among others, grazing peace, herd peace and river shore peace. Traditional livelihood peace includes the peace granted to the practitioners of the traditional livelihoods as well as to the living beings and material items related to them.

Sámi Culture is Part of Every Step in Life.

Sámi culture includes, among others, the Sámi language, Sámi cultural heritage, cultural expressions, Sámi art, traditional knowledge of the Sámi, the relationship of the Sámi with nature, traditional Sámi livelihoods and the modern ways of practising them.

For example, the Sámi language, stories, music and the most visible cultural symbols such as the Sámi dress and Sámi handicrafts are closely connected with traditional Sámi livelihoods. Together these form an inseparable entity in which each element relies on the others in order to remain vital and, thus, enabling the preservation, development and transmission of Sámi culture to future generations.

If one element of Sámi culture disappears, or if its area of activity is limited, this has an immediate impact elsewhere.

Sámi Tourism

Vastuullinen saamelaismatkailu Kulttuurinen sekasikiö

Sámi tourism is defined as tourism where the resources of Sámi culture are utilised to produce tourism services offered to the public on commercial basis.

In tourism based on Sámi culture the tourism service providers come from within the Sámi community. To ensure the vitality of Sámi culture and the authenticity of the tourism product, the Sámi tourism services need to be based on accurate and truthful information.

When different tourism stakeholders come from outside the Sámi community and utilise or exploit elements connected or referential to Sámi culture in tourism services or products without actual connection to the Sámi community and deeper understanding of Sámi culture, it is understood to be tourism exploiting Sámi culture.

Exploiting Sámi and Sámi Culture

  1. cultural identity theft
  2. cultural appropriation
  3. invented traditions
  4. borrowed traditions
  5. stereotypes, exoticisation, zooification, primitivisation

Explore and Consume Responsibly

Explore Sámi Homeland in Finland in a culturally safe way.

Consume responsibly by favouring Sámi products and services.

Responsibility in Sámi Tourism

Please remember when visiting Sámiland

The cornerstone of Sámi tourism is that the productisation and representation of Sámi culture is based on a strong connection with and responsibility towards the Sámi community, families or siida concerned whose culture or traditionally inhabited lands or usufructuary areas are being utilised or represented in a tourism product.

Your visit and the footprints it leaves has an impact in the local community you visit.

Let’s journey together towards more responsible future.