Report from Zsofia Lang, Master in Indigenous Studies, University of Tromsø
Financial support to the project:
The role of Árran – Lule Sami Centre in the revitalization process of the Lule Sami language and culture / language education as a tool of cultural revival
My fieldwork was conducted in Drag, Tysfjord municipality in August 2004. During this month I collected empirical datas for my master thesis. In my thesis I focus on Árran – Lule Sami Centre’s position in the Lule Sami society in Tysfjord.
The centre has an important role regarding the cultural revival in the region. One of the most imortant issues is the development and education of the Lule Sami language. I interviewed, therefore, employees of the language section at Árran. I mainly collected datas from teachers and personnal in the Sami kindergarden about their working experiences and the functioning of the different projects. Árran has many projects and arrangements regarding language teaching. The institution organizes courses, as e.g. language bath, intensive language training for adults, long distant education etc. The language section has wide co-operational network with primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities in Norway, together with institutions on the Swedish side and two universities in Hungary. Árran has among other things a co-operational language project with two universities in Budapest. The aim is to develop a traditionally limited language education. It represents a good example for cultural co-operation between local, national and international levels. The Lule Sami language shall gain a higher prestige among the Sami people by offering a teaching program abroad. Such activity can develop the ethnic identity and sense of belonging in the Lule Sami region. The Sami identity, language- and cultural knowledge, Sami way of life are important conditions of the Sami social development. During my fieldwork I was observing the work of Árran, the different ways to ensure, develop and transmit the Sami culture in the Lule Sami area.
I am expecting to finish the thesis by May 2005.
Student (Master in Indigenous Studies)