Nordiska museet in dialogue about the future of Sami heritage

Nordiska museet has, since it was founded in 1873, had the task of preserving our history and cultural heritage in Sweden. This has led to extensive documentation of both Sami history as well as cultural heritage. Nordiska museet is now opening for a dialogue about the future of the museum’s collections.

Nordiska museet manages one of the world’s largest museum collections related to Sami culture and history. The collection contains more than 8,000 objects, archival documents and historical photographs. From the beginning of the 20th century, the museum has continuously conducted research and put together several exhibitions with the focus on telling the story about the Sami history and culture. This often in close collaboration with representatives of the Sami community. In 2017 the exhibition Sápmi opened, which addresses the issues concerning Sami rights, difficulties, and opportunities in Sweden. In 2020 the museum opened a new entrance decorated by Sami contemporary artists. The upcoming exhibition on the Nordic region over the past 500 years to the present day will also address Sami history and culture.

Dialogue about the future of the Sami heritage at Nordiska museet

Nordiska museet aim to determine the future of their Sami collection. The work will start in 2022 in close collaboration with several different stakeholders, such as Ájtte, the Swedish Mountain and Sami Museum in Jokkmokk. The main point of the dialogue is to figure out how the collections will be best managed in the future. And also to clarify how they can best be used to tell the story about Sami history and culture.

Indigenous peoples’ rights to culture and cultural heritage

The international debate about indigenous peoples’ rights to culture and cultural heritage has been going on for a long time. Usually, it’s about the return of cultural heritage collected in the past. Since the beginning of the 1980s, Ájtte has been the main museum of Sami culture in Sweden. Nordiska museet has therefore, as a first step, approached Ájtte with their inquiry. The Ájtte museum director Elisabeth Pirak Kuoljok and board member Sanne Houby-Nielsen at Nordiska museet both expresses their joy at finally starting the dialogue about the future of the Sami collections.

Are you interested in the work Nordiska museet do with Sami history and culture? Click the link below to visit their website.

About Sami life in Sweden at Nordiska museet

The Nordic Museum works to preserve history and cultural heritage in Sweden. (11.4)