Intangible Cultural Heritage as a Resource for a Sámi Mathematics Curriculum


  • Anne Birgitte Fyhn UiT-The Arctic University of Norway
  • Ylva Jannok Nutti Sámi Allaskuvla/Sámi University of Applied Sciences



measuring, navigation, braiding, Indigenous, Mathematics education, Sámi languages


Northern Norway’s population comprises many different cultural groups. According to the Norwegian Education Act, education must give students insight into and a firm foundation in history and culture. This paper aims to present a proposal for how to start working with the creation of local rural mathematics curricula for which Sámi culture in particular, and Northern Norwegian culture in general, is the basis and foundation. It examines three activities that are examples of intangible cultural heritage from different non-urban Northern Norwegian cultures: i) Sámi traditional measuring, ii) fishermen’s traditional navigation at sea and iii) ruvden (a Sámi way of braiding). The activities are analysed with respect to the framework cultural symmetry, which was developed in research in Māori mathematics education. The analysis shows that the three activities are of great significance to local cultural reasoning to such an extent that they should be included in local rural mathematics education. Each of the three activities provides opportunities for developing a culture-based mathematics teaching that values the language and culture in which the activities are embedded. We conclude that cultural symmetry seems to function as a tool for developing a Sámi mathematics curriculum.

Author Biography

Ylva Jannok Nutti, Sámi Allaskuvla/Sámi University of Applied Sciences

Ylva Jannok Nutti lives in Jokkmokk in northern Sweden, She has a doctorate in 2011 from Luleå University of Technology in Sweden. Her dissertation examined teachers’ implementation of culture-based mathematics teaching. Jannok Nutti’s interests focus broadly on this field and its research. Her areas of expertise include Sámi education, Indigenous knowledge and culture-based teaching. She has conducted several action school research projects and has cooperated with Sámi teachers since her doctoral studies. She has a background as primary school teacher and have been working in a Sámi School in Sweden.




How to Cite

Fyhn, A. B., & Jannok Nutti, Y. (2023). Intangible Cultural Heritage as a Resource for a Sámi Mathematics Curriculum. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 33(2), 16–31.