The Sámi (/ˈsɑːmi/ SAH-mee; also spelled Sami or Saami) are a Finno-Ugric-speaking people inhabiting the region of Sápmi (formerly known as Lapland), which today encompasses large northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and of the Murmansk Oblast, Russia, most of the Kola Peninsula in particular. The Sámi have historically been known in English as Lapps or Laplanders, but these terms are regarded as offensive by the Sámi, who prefer the area's name in their own languages, e.g. Northern Sámi Sápmi.[8][9] Their traditional languages are the Sámi languages, which are classified as a branch of the Uralic language family.

Sámit (Northern Sami)
Sámi outside Lavvu, c. 1910
Total population
Estimated 80,000–100,000 or more[1]
Regions with significant populations
Sápmi 63,831–107,341
 Norway37,890–60,000[lower-alpha 1][2][3]
 United States480 (first ancestry)
945 (first and second)[6]
 Ukraine136 (2001)[7]
Sámi languages (Akkala, Inari, Kildin, Kemi, Lule, Northern, Pite, Skolt, Ter, Southern, Ume)
Russian, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish
Sámi Shamanism
Christianity (Lutheranism (including Laestadianism), Eastern Orthodoxy)
Related ethnic groups
Other Finno-Ugric people

Traditionally, the Sámi have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding. Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. Currently about 10% of the Sámi are connected to reindeer herding, which provides them with meat, fur, and transportation. 2,800 Sámi people are actively involved in reindeer herding on a full-time basis in Norway.[10] For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved for only Sámi in some regions of the Nordic countries.[11]

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