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The Swedish Missionary Society and the education of Sami children and youth in 19th century Sápmi

Research project The project investigates missionary schooling and orphanage practice for Sami children and youth in the Swedish part of Sápmi during the latter half of the 19th century.

The main object of study is the leading missionary society of the time, the Swedish missionary society. The project includes 3 interrelated studies, focusing on 1) the society’s educational activities on an ideological and organizational level; 2) the pedagogical practice of day-to-day missionary schooling, and 3) the society’s role in spreading knowledge about the Sami people to a broader public in late 19th century Sweden.

Head of project

Björn Norlin
Associate professor
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2021-01-01 2023-12-31

External funding

Swedish Research Council

Project description

The aim of this project is to gain knowledge about missionary schooling and orphanage practice for Sami children and youth in the Swedish part of Sápmi during the latter half of the 19 century. The main object of study is the leading missionary society of the time, the Swedish missionary society (SMS). From the end of the 1830s and up to the so-called nomad school reform in 1913, the SMS ran up to ten parallel existing missionary schools and orphanages in Sami areas, schooling several thousands of Sami pupils. The project includes 3 interrelated studies, focusing on 1) the society’s educational activities on an ideological and organizational level; 2) the pedagogical practice of day-to-day missionary schooling, and 3) the society’s role in spreading knowledge about the Sami people to a broader public in late 19 century Sweden. It has the potential to expand our understanding of Sami schooling during a crucial but previously neglected era of educational modernisation in a Sami-Swedish context, as well as of providing knowledge vital for contemporary ongoing cultural and political processes actualising the historical relations between the Sami people and the Swedish majority society.

External funding