Siida School – Community Driven Renewal of Sámi Siida System

This collaborative project by Sámi scholars, artists and activists seeks to reconstruct and simulate how and through which practices siida could operate as a Sámi governance structure today. The project aims at decolonizing Sámi society through reclaiming and reengaging with the traditional Sámi siida system and its concominant laws and practices.

Drawing on archival material, written sources and interviews with traditional knowledge holders, the two year project funded by the Kone Foundation will hold experimental workshops called siida schools where the foundations, core values and central practices of the siida system will be discussed and lived in collaboration of community members and across generations.

The objective is to generate novel interdisciplinary, artistic, political and cultural knowledge about the traditional Sámi governance structures, practices and values and the ways in which they can be practiced in contemporary settings.

The project is called a Siida School in recognition of the fact that considering the ongoing colonization, our individual knowledge of the siida system is limited; hence we are all both learners and teachers of one another. In addition, the engagement and participation of children and youth is central to the project. The project will produce scholarly, artistic and perfomative knowledge, including a podcast series and a web archive for the use of Sámi society.

The project has received funding from the Kone Foundation.

Summer solstice Siida School, 2019.
Some Readings in English

Sara, Mikkel Nils (2011). “Land Usage and Siida Autonomy.” Arctic Review on Law and Politics 3(2): 138–158.

Sara, Mikkel Nils (2009). “Siida and Traditional Sámi Reindeer Herding Knowledge.” The Northern Review 30: 153-178.