Sauli Niinisto

Arctic Samis celebrate their national day centenary

With chants, poetry and traditional dress, the indigenous Sami people of Europe's Arctic north, formerly nomadic reindeer herders in Lapland, celebrated their national day Monday with hundreds of events across the Nordic lands.

The Sami settled with their reindeer herds 9,000 years ago in Europe's Arctic and now number 70,000 people spread across Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

Monday's start to the weeklong festivities — attended by Norwegian King Harald and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in Norway, and Finland's president, Sauli Niinisto, in Finnish Lapland — marked the centenary of the Sami people's first congress in the Norwegian city of Trondheim in...