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Gollegiella – Nordic Saami language prize awarded to developers of Lule Saami and Kildin Saami

Ministry of Justice
26.11.2018 15.29
Press release
Monica Mæland, Karin Tuolja and Solvår Knutsen Turi.

This year's Nordic Saami language prize is awarded to Karin Tuolja from Jokkmokk, Sweden and Ekaterina Mechkina from Murmansk, Russia.

Gollegiella – Nordic Saami language prize will be handed to Karin Tuolja in connection with the meeting of the ministers for Saami affairs and the presidents of the Saami Parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland in Oslo on 26 November. Ekaterina Mechkina will receive her prize in Murmansk on 29 November. The purpose of the prize is to contribute to the efforts to strengthen, promote and preserve the Saami languages in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

Karin Tuolja has worked for the Lule Saami language in Sweden for her entire adult life. She has worked as a teacher, translator, study material developer and language reviser. Tuolja is a prominent person in the Lule Saami language community. She has played a key role in the language cooperation between Norway and Sweden, especially when it comes to developing the vocabulary and terminology and translating the Bible.

Ekaterina Mechkina is awarded with the Gollegiella prize in recognition for her long-term efforts to strengthen the position of the Kildin Saami language in Russia. She has participated in developing the vocabulary and compiling a Kildin Saami dictionary. Mechkina has also written and translated books and developed study materials. Her works have introduced many people to the culture and lifestyle of the Kildin Saami people living in the Murmansk region.

The language prize is awarded to private individuals or organisations in recognition and appreciation of remarkable contributions to promoting the Saami languages. The prize is now awarded for the eighth time. The prize will next be awarded in 2020, when Finland will hold the rotating chairmanship of the Nordic Saami cooperation.

The award jury consisted of Neeta Jääskö from Finland, David Kroik from Sweden, Nina Afanasieva from Russia, and Solvår Knutsen Turi and Jane Juuso from Norway.


Johanna Hautakorpi, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Justice, tel. +358 2951 50018, [email protected]
Neeta Jääskö, member of the award jury, Finnish Saami Parliament, tel. +358 405969230, [email protected]

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