When I was a child growing up in Hammerfest, a small coastal town in the north of Norway, my family would take regular trips to our cabin in the northern hamlet of Skaidi. On the way there, we would always drive past “Stallo,” a huge, pointy rock that my mother would ask my brother and I to greet. This was very important, she told us, if we wanted good luck on our journey. I learned later in life that stallo is the Sámi word for “troll.” Back then, I had no idea that “Stallo” had its origins in the Sámi language, but then again, I didn’t know at that time that I too had Sámi origins.

The Sámi, one of Europe’s few Indigenous populations, live in the Arctic regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The majority of the Sámi within Norwegian borders...

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