History of Norway’s indigenous Sami and Kven people to get inquiry

The Local Norway
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History of Norway’s indigenous Sami and Kven people to get inquiry
The Norwegian and Sami flags fly in front of Norway's parliament. File photo: Gorm Kallestad/Scanpix

A commission will be appointed to map out the history of Norway’s Sami and Kven people, after a proposal received parliamentary support Tuesday.


All of the Norwegian parliament’s parties, with the exception of coalition government partners Høyre (Conservative) and the populist Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet) voted in favour of the commission, reports NRK.

Parliament’s Control and Constitution Committee’s proposal requested a review of the history of the two indigenous peoples.

“There is a majority in the Control and Constitution Committee in support of the commission. That means there will be a majority in a parliamentary meeting. So we can safely say that parliament will approve this on Tuesday,” committee chair Martin Kolberg of the Labour Party told NRK.

The Sami people’s own representative body, the Sametinget, proposed in 2014 a “truth commission” inquiry into the “Norwegianisation” of Sami people during a 100-year period from the middle of the 19th century.

READ ALSO: Sami mark 100 years of annual gathering

Kolberg said that no decision had yet been made as to whether the word “truth” would be used in the commission’s official name.

But the parties that voted in support of the commission agreed that it was necessary to bring out all perspectives on the history of the two indigenous peoples, he said.

“People’s history is significant for how they are today. It is clear that there is much in the history of the Sami and Kven people that should not have happened, and there is a lot of research material on the subject. But it is important that we get a parliamentary commission appointed by the country’s highest authority, the Stortinget [Parliament],” Kolberg told NRK.

“That is required so that we can have a basis for how we move on and how the two peoples can live well together,” he added.

Kolberg added that the inquiry would be carried out in cooperation with the Sami and Kven people themselves.

READ ALSO: Nesbø accused of stereotyping Sami people


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