Languages under threat as Sami migrate south #indigenous #culture #threat

Via Scoop.itNWT News

[excerpt] Experts believe that the Sami languages could become casualties of rural depopulation in Finland. More than half of Sami-speaking children now live outside Sami regions, in areas where language instruction is difficult to access. Linda Länsman is one of the few Sami teachers in the capital city region. Having moved south ten years ago, Länsman now works at a daycare centre in the Helsinki suburb of Kulosaari. Her work there includes, among other things, teaching Sami to six-year-old Joika Partin. Joika is lucky, as language instruction is hard to find for Sami children. There are just a few teachers in the capital city region, even though there are estimated to be hundreds of Sami children living in the area. They often do not even use their language at home. “If one of the parents is Finnish, they speak Finnish at home, and the child does not learn Sami,” says Länsman. Sami language in danger outside Sami regions Preserving the Sami language was a struggle up until the 1960s. After the war Sami were threatened by assimilation policies, but now urbanisation is a bigger threat. “The Finnish language law only provides for the protection of Sami languages in the Sami regions,” says Sami language and culture lecturer Irja Seurujärvi-Kari of Helsinki University. “From the start of the century it has been apparent that more and more Sami are moving to the cities.” […]
Via yle.fi

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