And People Asked: “We Want to Have Lakes to Fish!” and Lakes Were Given. Skolt Sámi Relocation after WWII in Finland

Nuccio Mazzullo


This paper examines the relocation of the Skolt Sámi people from Russia to Finland in the first half of the 20th century. Based on empirical fieldwork and a review of literature and reports, I investigate both the decision-making and the place-making processes in the region of Sevettijärvi, Finnish Upper Lapland. This article gives an account of the difficulties resettled villagers had in making themselves home in a new place, albeit decisions had been made in agreement and good faith. Further, this article highlights people’s awareness of the social life of stories and of their own role as storytellers.

  • 1. This paper is part of a series of publications focusing on Arctic Oral History. The series is one outcome of the Finnish Academy Project ORHELIA (Oral History of Empires by Elders in the Arctic), decision number 251111.