Report on oppression of indigenous groups to be read in Norway’s national theatre

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Report on oppression of indigenous groups to be read in Norway’s national theatre
A report on the Norwegianisation of indigenous peoples will be read in the national theatre. Pictured is a Sami feeding a reindeer. Photo by Nikola Johnny Mirkovic on Unsplash

A 700-page report on the Norwegiansiation of indigenous peoples in the Scandinavian country will be read in the national theatre to highlight how the government has oppressed the Sami, Kven and other groups.


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission will submit its report to Norway’s parliament (Storting) on the state-driven Norwegianization of indigenous groups at the beginning of June.

The report on the forced assimilation of the Sami, Kven, Norwegian-Finns and Forest Finns peoples will be read aloud in Norway’s national theatre in Oslo. 

The 700-page report will take activists, performers and members of the public around 30 hours to read aloud. The report is being read publicly to highlight the oppression indigenous groups have faced in Norway throughout history. 

The reading has been organised by the Kven Theatre (Kvääniteatteri) in collaboration with the National Theatre. 

“We have taken the starting point that the whole of Norway should read the report, i.e. representatives from all over Norway. This means that as many dialects as possible should be heard,” Director of the Kven Theatre Frank Jørstad told Norwegian public broadcaster NRK

Parts of the national theatre will be kept open to the public during the reading. NRK will also broadcast the event live. 

Norwegianisation was an official policy carried out by the government targeted at assimilating non-Norwegian-speaking native populations into an ethnically and culturally uniform Norwegian population. 


Several policies and initiatives were used to suppress the language and cultural practices of the Sami and Kven people in Norway. The origins of the policy were originally rooted in a religious agenda before becoming more driven by nationalism. 

Norway’s authorities have avoided taking responsibility for the consequences of the assimilation policies. The effects of Norwegianisation have also led to discrimination of indigenous groups in Norway at the hands of the general public. 

“It has long been obvious that Norway is a champion of human rights, but Norway also has another, darker side when it comes to the treatment of indigenous peoples and national minorities,” Dagfinn Høybråte, chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said of the polices at a commission meeting in March. 

The commission’s reports will put forward suggestions on how the government can reconcile with indigenous groups in Norway. 

Earlier this year, the government became embroiled in a row with Sami activists. Activists were protesting outside government ministries to mark 500 days since a court ruling found windfarms infringed on their human rights. 

A decision on what will happen to the wind farms in Fosen, which interfere with the protected cultural practice of reindeer herding, has yet to be made. 


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