Sámi Museum Siida and Saemien Sijte are in the process of building new spaces and renewing their exhibitions while Ájtte Museum seeks to include new element in their exhibitions. The current exhibitions are frozen in time as the technology does not allow changes and updates; hence they neither strengthen the present Sámi identity nor convey actual and appropriate information for the museum visitors. In order to offer a current narrative, there is a need for a new museum language that will remain flexible, convertible and easily updated so that the exhibitions become living examples of Sámi identity of each era. This is crucial for the Sámi because Sámi Museums are one of the very few public forums where we Sámi can present the culture in our own terms and study and convey our self-image through documentation with the idea of ‘Past generations live in us.’
Muittut, muitalusat aim to contribute in creating interesting experiences, helping visitors to learn and comprehend the information offered by the museums. Sámi identity is not static but changes with time, influenced by societal, cultural and other factors. Sámi museum exhibitions – whether permanent or temporary – should similarly strive to be living, up-to-date, easily updated and easily convertible. The project brings together Sámi museums from northern and southern Sápmi, providing a platform for sharing the best museum practices and developing together new Sámi museum language. This brainstorming will be further strengthened by involving universities from Finland and Sweden as well as other important stakeholders to create something unique. The objective is to represent Sámi culture, our memories and our stories, interpreted by Sami artists through art and music, and create thus a universal understanding beyond words.
Sámi Museum Siida is the project coordinator and responsible for the management and the coordination for Muittut, muitalusat. The project management structure comprises Project Manager Eeva-Kristiina Harlin and a steering group. The steering group members are Sari Valkonen, Director of Sámi Museum Siida (chair), Eeva-Kristiina Harlin, Project Manager, Sámi Museum Siida (secretary), Pirita Näkkäläjärvi (Maria Sofia Aikio), from Sámi parliament, Pirjo Seurujärvi from Metsähallitus, Jonna Häkkilä, (Tuija Hautala-Hirvioja) from University of Lapland, Christer Åhlund from Luleå Technical university, Elisabeth Pirak Kuoljok from Ájtte and Birgitta Fossum from Saemien Sijte.