Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen wins music prize

Winners of this year’s Sámi Grand Prix music contest celebrated

Ella Marie Haetta Isaksen


Artist, activist, and actor Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen was honored with this year’s Áillohaš Music Prize, reports NRK.

The prize was awarded during the Sámi Grand Prix, eight years after she won the song section in the same competition. The prize is awarded by Kautokeino municipality and the Kautokeino Sámi Association.

“It is the one given by the Sami people. That’s what makes it mean so much,” said Ella Marie to NRK.

“The reason is about the battle I am fighting for the Sámi people, and that it has had an impact on my own people. I can feel that touching me to the core,” she said.

Nils-Ove Kuorak and Bycecilia won their respective categories in the Sámi Grand Prix—joik and Sámi song.

Nils-Ove Kuorak from Gällivare in northern Sweden received the award for best joik for his performance of “Njeallječalmmat.”

Cecilia Dyrøy, or Bycecilia, won the pop class with the song “Mannem åajaldahteme.” It is the first song she sings in Sámi. The artist lives in Frøya but grew up in the Røros and Brändåsen area of Norway.

According to NRK, the song is about missing and longing for someone. Cecilia has not mastered the Southern Sami language but hopes that the participation will be her first step to start the process of taking back the Sámi language.

This article originally appeared in the May 2024 issue of The Norwegian American.

Avatar photo


NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway