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The Sámi culture encompasses various unique activities carried out by the Sámi people for many decades. However, this precious culture faces external threats that interfere with the core activities and beliefs carried out by the Sámi people.
The Sámi people rely greatly on natural resources for their livelihood hence making the Sámi culture to be associated with nature. According to the Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Sami people were initially categorized depending on the characteristic of the natural environment they occupied (1). This means that different Sami people depended on different natural resources for their livelihood depending on their location. Firstly, the Sami people living in the coast of the Arctic Ocean are categorized as the Sea Sámi (Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2). Due to the closer location to Arctic Ocean, the livelihood of the Sea Sámi mainly depended on resources from the ocean. This means that the main economic activity that was associated with this category was fishing from the ocean. The second category of the Sámi people is called the forest Sámi. This category of Sámi people relied heavily on hunting and gathering as the source of their livelihood. However, it is worth noting that the Sámi people are nomadic and relied heavily in the reindeer in addition to other resources offered by nature.
Historical background of the Sámi people provides important clues about various activities carried valued in the Sámi culture. According to Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Sámi people descended from people who inhabited the Northern Fennoscandia after the ice age period (1). This indicates that the Sámi people are the original landowners in the arctic region. In addition, the ancestry of the Sámi people indicates that they had already adapted to the living conditions in the arctic regions. Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples further
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This is in stark contrast to the concept of mental health developed by modern, educated class of people. The concept of mental health simply speaks about the individual health and its capacity to perform in certain given environment. In contrast, the concept of social and emotional wellbeing is much broader in the sense that it takes into account individual’s association with land, family, ancestry, culture, community, spirituality and many such related aspects in which a person lives through and feels elevated.
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