The Preservation of Sámi Heritage – A Crack in the Facade of Sweden’s Moral Authority?

Sámieatnan duoddariid, dáid sámi mánáid ruovttu

galbma geađge guorba guovlu

sámi mánáid ruoktu

Sámiland’s wide expanses home to Sámi children 

cold barren rocky realm

home of Sámi children

Sámiland. Photo: Flickr, Alexander Cahlenstein

These are the first lines of the Sámi Artist Sofia Jannok’s song, in the English translation named Wide Open Tundra of the Sámiland. The Sámi people represent the indigenous population spread over the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. They are recognized as an indigenous population by the United Nations, giving them the right to preserve and develop their culture, language, traditions and identity as nomadic reindeer herders. 20-000 to 40-000 Sámi people live in the North of Sweden, where a constant conflict over land and natural resources has emerged throughout the past decades.

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