Sweden’s Arctic Sami face increasing racism

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Market in Northern Sweden. (Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix)Destruction of property, racist websites and vandalism of Sami street signs are on the increase in Northern Sweden according to the Sami Centre Against Discrimination and Racism.

When obvious aspects of Sami culture, such as bilingual street signs, are vandalized it creates a climate of intimidation, say Lars-Nila Lasko, head of the centre against racism.

“It’s increasing all the time. There are Sami people who don’t dare to go out in the evenings in their traditional dress,” he told Swedish Radio News.

Recently several traditional huts, or kåtor, used by Sami reindeer herders have been burned down, and the incidents have been registered as hate crimes.

The national Equality Ombudsman has also reported that the Sami minority in Northern Sweden often faces difficulty finding jobs due to discrimination.

Recently a Facebook webpage calling for the extermination of all Sami was closed down.

The Sami are an indigenous people of Arctic Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

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