Fighting To Keep the Sami Culture Alive
There are estimated to be over 20 000 Sami people living in Sweden today. They are one of the largest indigenous groups in Europe, and it is believed they settled in Scandinavia as long as 2500 years ago, way before the ancestors of the majority of today's Swedes.
Despite efforts in the past to assimilate the Sami and their culture into mainstream Swedish life, their languages and traditions are still alive today, and are even promoted by government authorities, with the Sami language given official status as a "minority language" here.
But there is still much to be done, as Christine Demsteader found out in the Northern Swedish towns of Jokkmokk and Arvidsjaur, hotbeds of Sami cultural activity, and the home of the Sami Centre for Education.