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 UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

June 9, 2011
Cheryl Reitan | Interim Director | UMD Public Relations and Marketing | 218 726-8996 |
Alison Aune | Associate Professor | Department of Art and Design | 218-726-621 |

UMD Hosts "Honoring the Earth: Sámi Women"

The event "Honoring the Earth: Sámi Women" will be held at 6 pm, Thursday, June 30, 2011 in the UMD Library Rotunda. Stina Fagertun and Anita Barth-Jorgensen from Tromso, Norway, will present folktales from the ancient Arctic storytelling tradition.

The event will include storytelling, music, song, dance, and a short talk about similarities between Sámi people of Norway and American Indians in Minnesota. Children are invited.

Jim Vileta from the UMD Library will showcase the Library's new collection of Sámi materials. A bibliography will be available.

Art Workshop

A free art education workshop for children, hosted by Alison Aune, will be held from 10 am - 12 noon on Friday, July 1 in UMD Humanities 331.

The event, Sami Arts and Stories for Children, will include storytelling by the Norwegian guests Fagertun and Barth-Jorgensen from 10-11 am and the art workshop 11-12 noon. Nordic snacks will be provided. To register for the children's event, contact 218-726-6216 or

About the Storytellers

Stina Fagertun has coastal Sámi and Kven (Finnish descendant) ancestry and comes from the local fiords of Arctic Norway. She has written fairytales, and collected ancient, unique fairytales from the Sámi, Kven and Arctic storyteller tradition. Her stories have been published as books and CDs in Norway. Fagertun is the winner of the Northern Norway Cultural Award 2003. She received the award for collecting and making a CD with ancient, unique fairytales from the Arctic region: Sámi, Finnish (Kven) and Norwegian.

Anita Barth-Jorgensen is Norwegian and an adopted Sámi. She is proud to be allowed to wear the Sámi dress from her birth area and to do the joik, tribal Sámi chants, and Sámi handcraft. She is an actress and musician.

Fagertun and Barth-Jorgensen have been performing music, song, dance and storytelling together, around the world, for over 10 years.


The Sámi people of Norway and American Indians in Minnesota have many common belief systems, crafts, and traditional lodgings. Fagertun and Barth-Jorgensen see the possibility of a distant tie between the two cultures and the similarities of people living so close to nature. Like Native Americans in the United States, the Sámi peoples were repressed by the dominant culture and government policy in their countries. Sámi children were once taken from their families and sent to boarding schools where they were forbidden to speak their native languages or to practice their traditions or religion. Now in Norway, there is a resurgence of Sámi news, teaching Sámi history, learning the language, and wearing traditional dress.


The Commission on Women, the American Indian Studies Department, the Anishinabi Club, the American Indian Learning Resource Center, the Center for Indigenous Knowledge Revitalization, the School of Fine Arts, and the UMD Library.

Sami Women Poster

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