Complexities of power embodied in the Sami tradition of yoiking

Carol Rowan, an MA graduate of CYC, recently spent 3 1/2 months at Sámi Allaskuvla (University College) in Guovdageaidnu, Norway, conducting background research for her doctoral dissertation focused on early childhood in Nunavik.  Carol arranged for Laila Nutti, Assistant Professor and her colleague  Aura Mari Pieski, to speak about Yoik at a lunchtime presentation on May 27, 2014.  Sami traditional song-making and singing in early childhood education. Traditionally yoiks are made by people that know and love you, usually parents or relatives. Yoik describe people or objects even without words, creating a feeling of love and belonging and a source for remembering stories about people and landscape, sometimes over many generations. From an indigenous perspective yoik is a strong part of the Sámi culture, and is now threatened in its traditional form. Today, few children are gifted with their own yoik and all the feelings and history that accompany the little songs. The presentation drew a sizable audience from various departments around the campus, including child and youth care, education, psychology and linguistics.  The presentation was co-hosted by the Department of Linguistics.