Giellagas Institute

Welcome to Giellagas Institute! Giellagas has a nation-wide responsibility to organize, introduce and provide Saami language and cultural studies and research at the academic level.


The language of instruction in Giellagas Institute is mainly Finnish for Saami culture studies, North Saami for North Saami studies and for the Aanaar Saami and Skolt Saami studies, Finnish at the first courses and the respective Saami languages at the more advanced courses.

Info and news targeted to students can be found at the University’s Student pages.


Major subjects

The Giellagas Institute houses two major academic subjects, Saami Linguistics and Saami Culture


The second main responsibility of Giellagas Institute, in addition to teaching, is research of Saami languages and Saami culture, in other words, increasing all kinds of knowledge regarding the languages, history, society and other cultural aspects of the Saami. The research is part of the work of all our personnel—professors, lecturers, and especially researchers—, but it also belongs to students, when they write their final theses, and possibly continue to doctoral studies after that.

Postgraduate students

Contact information

Giellagas Institute

P.O.Box 1000

FI-90014 University of Oulu

Visiting adress: Erkki Koiso-Kanttilan katu 1

(University of Oulu, Linnanmaa > Faculty of Humanities > 3rd floor)

Saami culture archive - Sámi kulturarkiiva

History of Giellagas Institute

The teaching of Saami language began in the University of Oulu in 1970, in the institute of Finnish language. The institute has operated as a distinct unit in the Faculty of Humanities from 2004 onwards.

Giellagas Institute was established in 2001. From then on, the institute has had a nation-wide responsibility, assigned by the Ministry of Education, to provide and develop the teaching and research of Saami language and Saami culture at the university level in Finland. After the founding of the institute, the most important single change happened in the spring of 2004, when the old major subject of Saami language and culture was split into two subjects, Saami language and Saami culture. Nowadays the subject of Saami language has been further split into three programs: North Saami, Aanaar Saami, and Skolt Saami.

The student organization of the students of Saami language and Saami culture in the university of Oulu is GieKu association.