Welcome to Sápmi – the Land of the Sámi
In the Kiruna region, several cultures meet. The dominant Sámi language here is Northern Sámi and many Sámi work hard to keep the culture alive and visible in the community.
The practice of reindeer herding is a strong carrier of cultural heritage but far from all Sámi have it as their main occupation. It is more common to help out at larger events such as the calf branding. The handicraft, Sámi duodji, is also an important part of Sami culture and it embodies a life in harmony with nature. Visiting the region, you can experience and learn more about the Sámi culture through the Sámi companies and guides who work in the tourist industry.
The Indigenous Peoples of the World
The Sámi are one of the indigenous peoples of the world and for centuries they have lived close to nature. Even though the Sámi way of life has developed along with the rest of society, their culture and traditions are still strongly present. There are eight Sámi communities in Kiruna. A Sámi community is an economic association and its members are Sámi who work with reindeer herding within the boundaries of the respective communities.
Find out more about Sámi culture through genuine experiences
In Nikkaluokta, the Sámi family Sarri has been running tourist activities for several generations. They have a facility at the end of the road, not far from Kebnekaise. Although times have changed, genuine Sámi folk are still living with the family, and knowledge of and a feel for the local environment are important to them.
Nutti Sámi Siida is located in the old Sámi marketplace that gave rise to the village of Jukkasjärvi. You’ll find exhibitions here about Sámi culture and lifestyle, sales of genuine Sámi handicrafts, and if you’re feeling a bit peckish traditional lunches are sold at the fireside in a massive Sámi cot. There’s some unique cabin accommodation here too, with reindeer just around the corner and popular reindeer driving tours.
Giron Travel is a Sámi family business with an outstanding knowledge of Sámi culture. With them, you can enjoy genuine experiences involving animals and nature and gain an insight into the life of a reindeer herder. Learn how to lasso a reindeer, or tag along on a trip in a reindeer sleigh through forest and marsh, just as the Sámi people of the North have done for thousands
Visit Rensjön Sápmi Adventures and experience the everyday life of a reindeer herding family at Rensjön in Gabna Sami Community. Get acquainted with an ancient mode of transportation, driving a reindeer through the snow covered mountain landscape. Lunch, made of their own reindeer meat, is cooked over open fire in a Sami hut.
Stig Allas, Allas Activity, works as a reindeer herder and guide and shares his experiences from the neighbourhood and the Sámi Culture with you. He offers snowmobile tours, fishing, and skiing.
Ofelas Islandshästar & Guideservice arrange Icelandic horseback riding tours in the mountains. If you are interested in animals, wildlife, nature and Sámi culture you have found the right place.
Scandinavian Photoadventures is a Sámi family company that takes you out to photograph Northern Light, Wildlife and Sámi culture. You borrow camera equipment and warm clothes from us and join our Sámi guides out in nature to do amazing photos to your own album. More about our tours at Scandinavian Photoadventure´s website.
Sámi Communities in Kiruna:
Mountain Sámi communities: Könkämä, Lainiovuoma, Saarivuoma, Talma, Gabna, Laevas, Girjas.
Forest Sámi community: Vittangi.