About

img_6187My name is Julie Whitehorn. I am a mom, a freelance writer / designer, and a community organizer. I grew up in a distinctly Sàmi subculture as a Laestadian, although like many other immigrant families, our indigenous ancestry was suppressed and denied, for reasons I will explore in this blog.

Growing up, I was told our family was Swedish and Finnish (both of my grandfathers were immigrants and married second-generation immigrants). I suspected there was more to the story, but it wasn’t until seeing the film Suddenly Sámi (at the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival), that I followed in filmmaker Astrid Lundby’s steps and had my DNA tested. Through the genetic cousins I met in that process, and the resulting geneaology, I confirmed that several of my ancestors were Sámi.

I began to hear the stories, as the unsilencing and re-membering of our family history began. I am still asking, what does it mean to be part Sámi? Why was it suppressed? What will it mean for my children? I haven’t answered those questions, but I have met others on similar journeys who are likewise committed to reconnecting to that which was lost or stolen.

In 2012, a few of us in the Pacific Northwest launched an informal group, Pacific Sámi Searvi. Check out the Facebook page.

As time permits, I’ll add links on this page to Sami resources.

If you have feedback or questions, please send me an email.

Ollu giitu (thanks!) for reading.

Julie

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2 thoughts on “About

  1. I don’t know if you will see this — although you posted before COP21, I am doing research on the Sami post-COP21 and wonder if the quote “Corporations and governments have often discounted the power of native communities—because they were poor and scattered in distant places, they could be ignored or bought off……” is by Bill McKibben (whose name appears at top of paragraph preceding quote) or by someone else. I’d like to paraphrase it for a school term paper due before end of June 2016. Thank you. I’d also like to know if you can put me in contact with a Sami high school student who might want to have a penpal?

    • Elaine, yes, that is Bill McKibben’s quote, taken from the article linked. You can find many more links to relevant information (as well as potential correspondents) by joining the Facebook group North America Sami Searvi. Good luck on your paper, and giitu for visiting!

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