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Critical Shortage of Sami Language Teachers

A severe lack of teachers could threaten the future of the languages of the indigenous Sami people in Finland.

Saamelaisia lapsia luokkahuoneessa.
Image: YLE

The critical nature of the shortage of teachers came to light in a study carried out for the Giellagas Institute at the University of Oulu which surveyed the educational needs in Finland related to Sami language and culture.

The Sami are an indigenous people that live traditionally in Finnish Lapland, the Kola peninsula and central and northern parts of Sweden and Norway. About 6,400 Sami live in Finland.

The report notes that an investment is needed in training Sami language teachers and other educators who speak the language. It suggests that teacher training be organized at one of the universities in the north of the country and in Sami-speaking areas.

It calls for special attention to be given to the future of the languages spoken by the Inari Sami and the Skolt Sami.

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