Sami reindeer herders faced descrimination: Swedish equality ombudsman

Reindeer herding is a major part of Sami lifeFor the first time the Swedish Equality Ombudsman has brought a case to court dealing with discrimination against the Sami people.

The Sami, formerly known as ‘Lapps’ are an indigenous people living across the north of Scandinavia and Russia. They have formal rights under Swedish law.

But now the Equality Ombudsman is saying that Sami reindeer herders have been ethnically discriminated against – because they were not allowed to have their say in a dispute over grazing land.

Ulrika Dietersson is a legal expert at the Equality Ombudsman. She says that she knows of no other case of real discrimination regarding Sami.

Now Krokom local council are accused of deciding on 15 planning permission cases regarding land that a Sami village was using – without allowing the Sami to give their input. The Equality Ombudsman are focussing on three cases where building permission for summer houses were granted.

The council itself refer to an oral agreement from the 1970s saying that consultation is only necessary when there is building on certain area of grazing land – and that the building sites do not count as grazing land anyway, since they were formerly enclosed farmland, not pasture.

The Equality Ombudsman is asking for damages worth around 70,000 US dollars to be paid to the Sami village.

Radio Sweden

Radio Sweden

For more news from Sweden visit Radio Sweden.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *