Sámi time, space, and place

Exploring teachers’ metapragmatic statements on Sámi language use, teaching, and revitalization in Sápmi


  • Nancy H. Hornberger University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Hanna Outakoski Umeå University, Sweden




Late in the evening before a regular school day, the mother of a Sámi family gets a call from her husband working at the reindeer corral saying that the reindeer will be brought in for separation and round-up early in the next morning. In the morning the rest of the family will join the father and other relatives at the reindeer corral and will be working late with the reindeers that day. At school the teachers get the information about the reindeer roundup from those children that are present in the morning, or from Sámi colleagues that have also gone to the corral. That day must, for the most part, be rescheduled at very short notice. The reactions to the changes are varying amongst the staff. The time used for rescheduling and planning the rest of that school day, or the coming couple of days, is not something that any member of the staff is looking forward to, but the attitudes, frustration and values that relate to the unpredictability of everyday life and the peculiarities of this particular cultural context are experienced in many different ways.


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