Basic education in the arts, equality and Sámi communities
Based on research conducted in 2016 as part of the Academy of Finland funded ArtsEqual Research Initiative, the paper Basic Education in The Arts, Equality, And Sámi Communities in Finland by Alexis Anja Kallio presents some considerations for institutions and educators to further equality in extracurricular music education from the perspectives of Sámi communities.
A recent (2017) report compiled by the Sámi Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Mental Health and Substance Abuse and the Saami Council outlines significant concerns for the mental health and wellbeing of Sámi people in Finland.
Moreover, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (2016) identified a widespread lack of awareness of the Sámi people among the majority population in Finland, alongside a worrying trend of escalating hate-speech directed at national minorities and Indigenous peoples.
Research has shown that extracurricular activities have enormous potential to address social inequality, and music education in particular has the power to “bring people together, enhance communal well-being, and contribute substantially to human thriving.”
The BEA system is thus in a unique position to effect positive social change together with, and for, Sámi communities in Finland. This discussion paper does not offer a blueprint of what is already being done in BEA, or what should be done, but rather serves as a point of departure for discus- sions and a resource for decision-making as BEA continues its efforts to enhance equality for all.
The paper was prepared for Basic Education in the Arts (Music) in collaboration with The Sámi Music Centre Inari (Sámi Parliament),The Sámi Music Academy Utsjoki (Sámi Education Centre), and City-Sámit Ry Helsinki.
Dr. Alexis Anja Kallio is a postdoctoral research fellow in music education at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland. Her ArtsEqual research has investigated equality in the Basic Education in the Arts system as experienced by Indigenous Sámi artists, arts educators, scholars, and community leaders.