Frequently asked questions

It is a common understanding that most people have little knowledge about Sami and about Sami culture and society. One main reason for this lack of knowledge is probably that such themes only rarely are on the mass media's agenda or are presented in textbooks at different educational levels. This situation has in its turn led to a domination of oversimplified and stereotypical images of the Sami and of Sami society. At the same time, there are many persons who need or want to know more about Sami related themes and therefore have lots of questions about such topics.

Difficult to answer questions on quantity

It is however not every question about Sami and Sami society that can be easily answered. This is especially so when it comes to questions that in some way are dealing with numbers - i.e. questions that call for access to Sami related numerical data in general and/or Sami statistics in special. Actually, this is - as explained elsewhere on this site - the very reason why the project Sami Social Database was initiated!

The intention of referring to the frequently asked questions mentioned on this page, is therefore not to give the "right" answers to them. Instead, it is one the one hand to quote some estimates that are used about the themes in question. On the other hand, it is to give some indications about why the actual questions don't have clear answers.

Another kind of question can often be answered!

It must, however, be underpinned that there are lots of questions about Sami culture and society that mainly call upon information based on qualitative data. Many of these questions can quite easily be answered by searching in books, in periodicals or in various kinds of public publications. More and more information can also be found on the Internet - either instead of or in addition to printed publications. How to search for such information is though not a theme for this web site…

Pages with answers/comments to the following questions will be constructed/translated:…

How many Sami are there…?

How many speak Sami?

Are all Sami reindeer herders?

Are there differences…?

Why so little Sami statistics?