The King and Queen visit Jokkmokk

The King and Queen at a student exhibition at the Sami Education Centre in Jokkmokk.

The King and Queen at a student exhibition at the Sami Education Centre in Jokkmokk. Photo: Naina Helén Jåma/TT

On Thursday 6 February, The King and Queen visited Jokkmokk to celebrate Sami National Day.

The visit began with The King and Queen meeting the President of the Sami Parliament Per-Olof Nutti, Chairman of Sirges Sami Community Mikael Kuhmunen and Chairman of Jåhkågaska Tjiellde Sami Community Jan-Erik Länta, who spoke about the conditions and challenges of reindeer husbandry in terms of forestry, aquaculture and mining.

At Jokkmokk Sami School, The King and Queen met pupils from years 5-6 who spoke about Sami culture and what makes a Sami school different to other schools.

At Jokkmokk Sami School, The King and Queen met pupils from years 5-6 who spoke about Sami culture. Photo: Naina Helén Jåma/TT

During lunch, The King and Queen met the board and the presiding officers of the Sami Parliament.

Jokkmokk Market

After lunch, The King and Queen visited Jokkmokk Market which has a long history and is thought to be an unbroken tradition dating back more than 400 years. Sami National Day was commemorated at the market, and the King's Song in Lule Sami and the Sami National Song were performed from a stage made of snow. The King then gave a speech, in which he said:

"Sami history is an important part of Swedish history. Sami traditions within everything from music to craft enrich Swedish culture. We are reminded of this not least at Jokkmokk Market, a meeting place with roots dating back more than 400 years."

The King and Queen at Jokkmokk Market.

The King and Queen at Jokkmokk Market. Photo: Naina Helén Jåma/TT

The King and Queen travel by reindeer sledge through Jokkmokk.

Travelling by reindeer sledge through Jokkmokk. Photo: Naina Helén Jåma/TT

The King and Queen visit a reindeer enclosure owned by Sanna Vannmar, who shows how they work with reindeer herding and how this is affected by climate change.

The King and Queen visit a reindeer enclosure owned by Sanna Vannmar, who shows how they work with reindeer herding and how this is affected by climate change. Photo: Naina Helén Jåma/TT

The Sami Education Centre

At the Sami Education Centre, The King and Queen saw an exhibition by second-year craft students. The centre was founded in 1942, since when it has provided training for Sami people.

The Swedish Mountain and Sami Museum, Ájtte

At the Ájtte Museum, The King and Queen were given a tour of a Sami craft exhibition and met three Sami entrepreneurs and artists. The Ájtte Museum displays exhibitions and the nature of the mountain region and Sami culture from the Norwegian border to the left and down into the forests, which stretch 1,000 km from north to south.