The Need for Visibility and Voice of Sami People in Art Education



In 2013, I spent six months in Finland pursuing questions concerning the presence of Sami people (the Indigenous people of northern Europe) in Finnish art education. In this combination study of microethography and narrative analysis that utilizes an Indigenous research paradigm, I asked Sami research participants about how they would like to be represented in art classes. Data description highlights the Sami research participants’ voices, as the presence of Indigenous people is often lacking in education due to the effects of colonization. Analysis of the data shows that these research participants think that media, education, and tourism all contribute to negative stereotypes of Sami people. In conclusion, art educators are in a unique and important position to educate students about Sami people so that stereotypes are not perpetuated and so that Sami people gain visibility and voices in global discourse concerning decolonization efforts in education.

Keywords: Sami, Indigenous, decolonization, art education, Finland, Indigenous research, microethnography, narrative analysis

How to Cite: Eldridge, L. (2016) “The Need for Visibility and Voice of Sami People in Art Education”, Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education. 33(1). doi: