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 academic 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.
THE GIELLAGAS INSTITUTE FOR SAAMI STUDIES
The Giellagas Institute for Saami studies was established in 2001 with the funding provided by the Ministry of Education. Pursuant to the ‘national task’ assigned by the State, the Giellagas Institute is responsible for Finland´s highest education and research into Sámi language and culture.
Saami language and culture have been taught as an independent academic subject at the University of Oulu for nearly 40 years, first as a minor and as a major from 1982 (see history of Sámi studies). In 2004 Saami language and culture was divided into two major academic subjects, Saami Linguistics and Saami Culture.
The Giellagas Institute has its own role in the education of the Saami people as well as in the maintenance of the culture. Nowadays the situation of the Saami people seems to be better understood by the mainstream society than previously. This positive attitude can be seen in the good prerequisites of action that we have been provided with.