The Sámi are indigenous people living on Europe's northern fringe. They are known for herding reindeer, their distinctive handicrafts ('duodji'), and their affinity for nature. The Sámi homeland (recognized and protected under the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention) is named 'Sàpmi' and extends from mid-Norway to northwestern Russia, and includes northern Sweden and northern Finland. On this excursion, we learn about the challenges faced by today's reindeer herders, and how their traditional ways remain relevant in the modern world.
Sámi reindeer herders symbolize Sámi culture and are dependent on vast areas of wilderness. The Sámi herders still live a nomadic lifestyle, following the reindeer migrations from the plains to the coast in April and back inland again in September. On this excursion you meet a herding family and their reindeer at summer pasture on the Nordkyn Peninsula. They invite you in to an evocative encounter around the fire in a traditional 'lavvo' (a temporary dwelling similar to a teepee) while the reindeer graze outside. This family of reindeer herders, artisans, and guardians of Sámi traditions share insights into the challenges herders and the Sámi people contend with. Through stories, chanting ('joik'), handicrafts,and reindeer broth, you get a genuine taste of Sámi culture.