Siida, which is located in the village of Inari about 70 km from Saariselkä, is the National Museum of the Sámi of Finland.
The Sámi are an indigenous people inhabiting parts of northern Finland, Norway and Sweden as well as the Kola Peninsula of Russia. The Sámi have their own language. Approximately 6,000 Sámi people live in Finland. Many of the Sámi in Finland now live outside the Sámi region in the north. For instance, Finland’s capital Helsinki has a relatively large and active Sámi minority.
The Sámi Museum Siida stores the spiritual and material culture of the Finnish Sámi in its collections and presents it to the public through its exhibitions and publications.
Siida’s main purpose is to support the identity and the cultural self-esteem of the Sámi. At Siida, you can explore several temporary exhibitions on cultural, artistic and natural themes every year. In addition to exhibitions, Siida organises events that focus on culture and nature, as well as seminars.
The Nature Centre of Metsähallitus is also in Siida. There is also a restaurant in the building. The shop sells souvenirs, handicrafts and literature.
The word “siida” is North Sámi, and it means a Lapp village or a reindeer village and the neighbourhood within it.
The Sámi Cultural Centre Sajos, which also houses the Sámi Parliament, is located in Inari. The Duodji Shop in Sajos sells original, authentic Sámi handicrafts. The artisans making these handicrafts use natural raw materials whenever possible.
The shop boasts the largest selection of Sámi handicrafts, music and literature in Finland.
You can recognise a genuine Sámi handicraft from the Sámi Duodji mark.
Guided tours are available from Saariselkä to Siida in the centre of Inari.