Perspectives on Sámi Mathematics Education

Anne Birgitte Fyhn, Ellen J.Sara Eira, Bharath Sriraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The Sámi are an indigenous people of the Arctic, and through a resolution of the United Nations, Norway is bound to take care of the Sámi culture and language. Since 1987 the Sámi have had their own curriculum, but they have no mathematics syllabus. In this paper we summarize the legal acts that take care of the Sámi culture within the Norwegian educational system, and then discuss three examples of Sámi mathematics, which can be part of a possible Sámi mathematics syllabus. First, a unit of measurement is presented, second, a unique way of treating the ratios 2:1 and 1:2 is described, and finally the use of some Sámi versus Norwegian geometry terms are exposed. The three examples are situated in relation to the Yup'ik Eskimo Mathematics in a Cultural Context (MCC), as described by Lipka, Webster, and Yanez (2005) and their contribution in this special issue of Interchange.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-203
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Beali unnit
  • Mathematics in a Cultural Context (MCC)
  • Sámi
  • Sámi mathematics education
  • Sámi units of measurement
  • beali eanet
  • indigenous issues
  • multiplicative structures


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