Hey there all my Canadian friends, sorry to take her from you but Joni Mitchell is Sami! There’s no extensive research into her roots (yet) but this is what she told recently to a Norwegian journalist. Her grandparents came from Norway but were always ashamed to talk about their heritage. But once she met one of her cousins and asked whether their family has Sami background. Yes we have Sami blood, had the cousin replied.
So, in a proper proactive Sami manner I’m of course thinking how could we make most of this news and the extraordinary discovery of Sami kin. How exciting, what an opportunity!! (There’s also talk that Renee Zellweger might be Sami too – according to the goikkehat telegraph she attended a family reunion in Finnmark last summer. She should’ve asked her local cousins too – we might have an instant new Sami movie star for Nils Gaup’s next box office breaker! If she started learning Sami now – she can do it online from Hollywood – she’d be ready for the next big Sami flick, maybe on on the agonies of being Sami today, a modern natural woman…)
But back to Joni – of course she has to attend the Sami Grand Prix that’s coming up!! Now wouldn’t that get the entire Sápmi and beyond to Kautokeino this Easter! And unlike Renee, she doesn’t even have to learn Sami to sing and win the competition for the singing part of the Grand Prix. All you need is a good tune and a few incomprehensible syllables – that’s how we got the last year’s winner. But she has to hurry before they change the rules as some are demanding. (Though wouldn’t we make an exception for Joni, our new MOT to be added on the gallery of Sami luminaries?!)
And we have to hurry and not sleep past this unique opportunity! Strike when the iron is hot and not snooze like folks in the neighbouring Karasjok who didn’t even think of inviting their own star, Mari Boine, to celebrate the screening of Nils Gaup’s new movie, to which she made the music. And what did Mari Boine do? She wore a Kautokeino gákti instead of her own Karasjok one. I had to study the photo of her in Kautokeino gákti for a long time – I have to say it looked a bit odd. She looked like, well, like from Kautokeino! And we all know she’s from the Deatnu river (not far from my family place). But the Sami (and the Finnish tourist industy) love to dress people in the Kautokeino gákti because it’s so … flash.
But geez, the mayor of Kautokeino should be on the phone already, calling Mitchell’s agent and offering her not only a free entry to the Sami Grand Prix but also a Kautokeino gákti to perform on. She couldn’t refuse, could she? What an opportunity to explore her Sami roots further, in Kautokeino when the entire Sápmi is already here!
P.S. And what about adding Sami Oscar’s to the next year’s Easter Festival offerings?!! We aren’t quite up there yet with the Cherokees when it comes to stars but we’re not far behind!