The Sámi people are the only officially recognised indigenous peoples in the European Union.
The Sámi people are the only officially recognised indigenous peoples in the European Union and they live in four countries: Norway, Sweden, Russia and Finland and the total population is estimated to 80,000 and nine thousands of them stay in Finland.
Although Sámi people live across country borders, they consider themselves to belong to one land known as Sápmi or Sámiland, have one Sámi flag and their national day is celebrated on 6th February.
The Sámi people have in Finland their parliament which is responsible for linguistic and cultural self-government. The parliament is in Inari, and every fourth year the Sámies elect new members.
The young Sámi students here have the right to get an education in their language. Efforts are made to preserve the Sámi languages by cultural daycare centres for young children.
The three different spoken Sámi languages In Finland are Northern Sámi, Inari Sámi and Skolt Sámi.
The Sámi culture and rituals mean a lot for the Sámi population, but in general, they live in modern houses, dress in modern clothes and do not differ from Finns in their outward appearance.
By special occasions, the Sámies put on their traditional Sámi dress, which makes them very proud. The majority of Sámis belong to the evangelical Lutheran church. Skolt sámis are mostly Orthodox.
These days over half of Sámi people live outside of the Sámi area, many of them in the Helsinki area.