A good definition can be found in the International
Organization of Labor's [OIT] covenant Art 1b: "-To the indigenous peoples
in independent countries, considered indigenous because they descend from
populations which inhabited the country or a geographical region belonging
to the country during the era of the conquest or colonization and the establishment
of the actual borders of the present states and which, no matter their
legal situation, still preserve all their appropriate social, economic,
cultural institutions or remnants of them."
UN and the European Union does recognize the Sami as an indigenous people
and representatives from the Sami nation participates in the United Nations
global indigenous peoples' projects and conferences.
But Sweden and Finland who is members of these same organisations paradoxally does not recognize the Sami's as such instead referring to the Sami peoples as a minority within each country. This might seem to be a minor difference, yet it has far-reaching consequences for the Sami people in issues regarding landrights and the preservation of the culture.
The right to land and water is written into the UN declaration of human rights.
Yet the Swedish government continue to break that very same declaration.
In the beginning of this century the Swedish government made a deal with the Sami communities
that each State council should handle the administration for the Sami's hunting and fishing
within each community. This was all and well for many decades until the government decided
that they should let those huntingrights free for everyone. So now we have a situation where
hunters can be found in Sami core areas.
The Sami organisations and communitys have put up signs with No hunting allowed in this area and also put some ads with same message in local newspapers.
During the 1990's a group of landowners with financial backing of companys like Modo1 have taken the question of the Sami's indigenous landrights
to the courts2. After several years of legal proceedings the court in Sveg concluded with the verdict
that the Sami's had no right to use certain parts of the forestlands in
the district of Härjedalen. Since then another trial has been started
questioning the landrights for Idre Sami community.
Tåssåsen Sami community which lost their native landrights within the district of Härjedalen trough the verdict in 1996 had a small piece in another region, which enabled the community to survive. But now in 1998 they are faced with yet another one trial which challenge what little native landrights that remains!
The Sami family Kroik photographed in Tjallingen, most
western part of Jemtland in Sweden close to Norway.
A large part of the Southsami's lived outside the region of "Lapland"
and so had no protection against exploitation of their lands. This process
of cultural genocide continues even today which is seen in the verdicts
of the landight trials in 1981 and 1996 both of which the Sami's lost.
A second source where they truthfully are talking about Languages is the Sami radio webpage in Finland follow this link and read the first paragraph on the top of the page. Yes they say: Languages! Plural!
The Swedish commitee for minority languages, went about their business in their usual way, speaking and working on behalf of only one native group and language, the same old divide and rule thing we all are familiar with. No wonder it encountered such strong reactions as the one you find in the right column as on this page where Mr Willenfelt compare the commitees report to refuse! (Sorry that particular link have gone dead, can tell that Mr W is a southsami from Härjedalen and that he was upset that his language had been omitted from the final governments report - just like the language of the webmaster of this site.)
Sami cultural heritage is included in the curricula of all Swedish schools.That's a bloody lie! At the time when this was stated there was no books, neither any curricula about the native population. Now in the later part of 1998, and about time, there's one book which is being included in the curricula, for some comments on this lack of knowledge about the native population follow this link which contains an interview with the young Sami girl, Sara Larsson who among other things state about the pupils in school "They know absolutely nothing about about the Sami's and i've even met many grown ups who doesn't know that they have an indigenous people in the north"
Sorry yet another link that have gone dead. :(Well lets go back on track:
With images like this one with comparisions of "begging" and "hobo" "Lapps" at left and Swedes of Nordic type (as the caption reads) the Swedish race biologist Hjalmar Lundborg wanted to prove that the Sami´s was of an inferior race. He got support both for his research as well as trough papers published by several noteworthy scientists of the time.
Most notable among those was professor Gustav von Düben, a man who collected Sami skulls in an attempt to prove the difference in the Sami's character and psychology. Trough the work of such men the idea that the Sami's was was "unfit to decide over their own lifes and destiny" was spread. The present goverment policy on native matters in this country is still based on this notion.
This is proved by the matters dicussed on the upper part of this page such as this government who decided on the free small game hunting for non-natives within the native communitys as well as the native landright issue in Härjedalen / Jämtland in mid-western Sweden which still continues.
Second, many of us suspect that the governments unvillingness to deal with the predators are deliberate. Only a hundred years ago the white people was killing all the Buffalo to deprive the Native Americans of their sustainence, now in this modern age when the native peoples have worldwide means of communication -they are unable to shoot our reindeers (well some actually do, but at least not officially supported by the government). Instead they let the predators prowl unchecked in the reindeerherds and any desperate native who kills a single wolf is swiftly brought to court and sentenced in a way which renders him backrupt.
Will this ever end?
If you have any doubts on the validity of these statements check the following links:
And here you can read a story written by an Honorary Doctor of History at the university of Umeå in which it is shown that the councellor of the defence who was appointed by the government (The Sami's had no saying in the matter) in the set of trials over native landrights during the years 1966 - 1981 was a former Nazi who had been photographed in Nazi time Germany whilst celebrating Adolph Hitlers 50 year birthday!About the predators please have a look at any of the two following links:
This story from 1998 on a "Wolftrial" where two Sami's got sentenced for the killing of one wolf. A trial which had racistic undertones.
The Sami youth organisation have tried to start a debate on the predator issue, you can see some of the discussions here.
If you have no fear of losing your appetite you might also dare to have a look at this link about:
Masskillings by wolverines.
Thank you for reading this page to the end, then one have succeded to spread the word to at least one more person.....