The Sámi Museum in Inari was established in the 1960s as an outdoor museum. The idea for a building that meets with the requirements for modern museum activities came about at the beginning of the 1980s. Around that same time, Metsähallitus had started to plan a nature centre for Lemmenjoki. The Sámi Museum working group was appointed in 1987, and it drew up a plan for initiating a joint construction project for the Sámi Museum and nature centre. Siida’s main building designed by architect Juhani Pallasmaa was completed in 1997 and it opened its doors to visitors in April 1998.
Siida’s permanent exhibition was designed together by the Sámi Museum and Metsähallitus. The exhibition combines Sámi culture and northern Lapland’s nature in a unique manner. Our permanent exhibition has been used as the model both in regard to its content and technical solutions for numerous exhibitions that have been completed later.
In addition to the Sámi Museum and Nature Centre, the Siida building houses the Siida Shop, Restaurant Sarrit and Inari Tourist Information. Today, we are one of Northern Lapland’s most popular destinations. In 2018, a total of 117,079 people visited Siida: these included exhibition and event visitors, as well as Metsähallitus hiking guidance and Inari Tourist Information, Siida Shop and Restaurant Sarrit customers.