The Giellagas Institute was established at the University of Oulu in 2001. Giellagas has a nation-wide responsibility to organize, introduce and provide Saami language and cultural studies and research at the acamedic level. Giellagas is an independent organisation in the Faculty of Humanities and it is financed directly by the Ministry of Education.
The Giellagas Institute houses two major academic subjects, Saami Linguistics and Saami Culture. In Saami linguistics the major teaching language is Saami while the studies of Saami Culture require skills in Finnish, in addition to Saami and English.