Siida’s old main exhibition is making way for a new one

The extension project of the Sámi Museum and the Northern Lapland Nature Centre Siida has come to an end and the renovation project will begin. Siida’s old main exhibition will be dismantled, and space will be created for a new exhibition where culture and nature will be combined into a single entity.


The over 20-year-old main exhibition of Siida has been popular. The Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Siida would like to thank the exhibition team and the actors behind the previous Siida main exhibition for their fine work.

More than one million visitors have experienced the spirit and atmosphere of Sáminess, as well as Sámi and Northern Lapland nature in the praised exhibition. The exhibition will now be reformed from floor to ceiling. Content is always the most important matter in an exhibition, but outdated exhibition technology will also be completely reformed. In the future, it will be easier to maintain, update, and add new information to the exhibition.


Useful parts of the old exhibition will be preserved.  After conservation, the collection items are returned to collections or to a new exhibition. The fur and plumage of taxidermy animals are subjected to light maintenance. Some of the props will also continue in guidance use, in nature and museum education, in the outdoor museum, as well as in changing exhibitions.  After the dismantling of the old exhibition, the renovation of the exhibition hall begins. The surfaces are refurbished, and the ceiling gets a new paintwork, after which a new exhibition can be built.


Starting from May, the Siida building will be closed for the renovation period.  As of 1 June 2021, the customer service of the Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Siida, Siida Shop, Metsähallitus’ customer service and tourist information will operate in temporary facilities in the area of Siida.  The Sámi culture can be explored at the outdoor museum, which will serve as an exhibition and visiting site during the renovation.


These lands are our children


Siida’s new exhibition is called “Enâmeh láá mii párnáh – These lands are our children”, according to the Inari Sámi poem written by Matti Morottaja from Inari. The name of the exhibition summarises the most important messages of nature and cultural topics.


The cultural contents of the exhibition reflect on how the past lives in us – each of us has a diverse heritage of different eras, which we utilise when adapting to changes around us. The nature perspective highlights climate history, specifically after the last Ice Age, and also speculates what will happen to the climate in the future. Nature topics are discussed through the conservation areas of Northern Lapland, their different habitat types, and the species living in them.


The principal architect of the new exhibition is Harri Koskinen from Friends of Industry Ltd. The manuscript for the cultural section was prepared by professor Veli-Pekka Lehtola. Outi Pieski serves as the artistic director of the cultural section. The manuscript of the nature section is by biologist Matti Mela.


The renewal of the cultural section of Siida’s main exhibition is financed by Kone Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation/Museum Vision, the Ministry of Education and Culture subsidy, and Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation. Muittut, muitalusat – the story of the Sámi by the Sámi, an Interreg project related to the renewal of the exhibition, is also under way at the Sámi Museum. Metsähallitus received the funding for renewing the nature section of Siida’s permanent exhibition from the government’s amending budget.



Further information:
Museum Director Sari Valkonen, tel. +358 40 767 1052 or sari.valkonen(at)
Project Manager Eeva Kyllönen, tel. +358 40 5709382 or eeva.kyllonen(at)

National Park Superintendent Pirjo Seurujärvi, tel. +358 400 125 782 or pirjo.seurujarvi(at)
Project Manager Kirsi Ukkonen, tel. +358 400 479 986 or kirsi.ukkonen(at)


On the renovation of Siida on our website:

Located in Inari, Siida houses the Sámi Museum and Northern Lapland Nature Centre as well as Restaurant Sarrit. The Sámi Museum Foundation is responsible for operations at Sámi Museum. The Northern Lapland Nature Centre is part of Metsähallitus’ national network of nature centres.

The Siida building that opened in 1998 will be extended and renovated, with the new parts housing the Sámi Museum Collections Unit and the restaurant. The joint permanent exhibition of the Sámi Museum and Northern Lapland Nature Centre will be renewed. We will serve customers during the whole renovation process. The extended and renovated Siida and the new exhibition will be opened in April 2022.

Sámi Museum continues its community activities through virtual meetings

The Sámi Museum Siida is a communal museum. It has a plan of arranging community meetings in the areas of collection and exhibition work both in the Sámi Area and elsewhere in Finland. During the Covid-19 period, the meetings are arranged virtually, using remote access facilities. The first virtual meeting will be an Inari Sámi Language Night on Thursday, October 8th 2020, which focuses on items from the Finnish National Museum that were collected in the Inari region in 1902.

Communal activities are part of the Sámi Museum Siida’s core operations, including meetings, workshops, seminars and cultural nights. The community the Museum directs its activities at consists of the Sámi population, but also other people. The objective and purpose of the operations is to bring the Museum closer to the so-called ordinary people. Communal activities open the doors to the world of museums: a personal connection brings the Museum and its involvement in the sphere of shared cultural heritage closer to people’s everyday lives and history. As a memory organisation, the Museum works as the memory of the community.

The Sámi Museum has planned to have communal meetings in different parts of Finland. In addition to the Museum’s permanent staff, communal activities are carried out by Ulpu Mattus-Kumpunen, the community coordinator of the Muitát project funded by the Kone Foundation, communal interpreter Heini Wesslin and “the museum friends”, or contact persons, of different regions that will be appointed in the autumn.

In February 2020, a day on interactive learning was arranged in Siida together by the Museum, the Sámi Education Institute and the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. During the day, students and teachers of Sámi crafts and conservation learned about the special features of Sámi objects, artefact research, conservation and repatriation processes; there were also workshops in which these themes were looked at together with the staff of the Sámi Museum.

The Covid-19 period has prevented the Museum from carrying out its communal activities as widely as planned. Meetings are now mainly arranged as virtual meetings, with the aim of having the contact persons of the community meet the important people in their lives safely. Additional public meetings and trips are avoided.

In the meetings, the artefacts and the photographs of the Sámi Museum’s collections play a central role. Objects from the Sámi Museum’s collections and the items that will be repatriated by the Finnish National Museum are presented to the community, to be identified and looked at. The objectives of these activities include making the Sámi cultural environment visible. For the Sámi, nature is a library and archive that reflects our shared memory. Using photographs, we reminisce about the meaning of places from the point of view of livelihoods, dwelling sites and sources of inspiration for narratives and handicrafts. Some of the results of these communal activities will be presented in the new main exhibition of the Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Siida.

Communal operations are part of the Sámi Museum’s project Muitát – From Repatriation to Revitalisation Using Sámi Museum Practices. In this project, the Sámi Museum studies actively what kind of communal ways of working are practical and give results. The best practices will be applied as new Sámi museum practices. The community aspect also plays a central role in other projects dealing with the renewal of the exhibition (the Museum Vision project and Muittut, muitalusat -Interreg project) run by the Sámi Museum presently.

Siida congratulates Museum Director Sari Valkonen

Sámi Museum Siida’s Museum Director Sari Valkonen Receives an Award at the Research Days for Adult Education

At the Research Days for Adult Education in February 2020, the Finnish Society for Research on Adult Education awarded persons who have distinguished themselves in the field of adult education.

A student scholarship was granted to to Sámi Museum Siida’s Museum Director Sari Valkonen (who has studied adult education as her main subject).

The Society awarded Valkonen for her commendable work on adult education and life-long engagement in socially and culturally important and responsible work especially in Lapland.