New chairman appointed to Sweden’s Truth and Reconciliation Comission

The Sami Parliament in Sweden in the Arctic city of Kiruna. (Eilis Quinn/Eye on the Arctic)

Sweden’s Ministry of Culture announced a former diplomat as the new chair of Sweden’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Tuesday. 

“I’m happy to appoint Anders Lidén as the new chairman of the Truth Commission,” Culture Minister Parisa Liljestrand said.

“The government remains committed to reviewing policies affecting the Sami people, while also documenting instances of abuse, violations, and racism they have endured.”

Government announcement of new appointee:

Lidén succeeds Kerstin Calissendorff, who stepped down in July.

Calissendorff told Radio Sweden’s Sami service at that time that the workload of the commission required four to five times more work than was planned when she agreed to the position, which necessitated her resigning early.

Former diplomat

Anders Lidén is a former ambassador whose past postings include Helsinki, Harare, Tel Aviv, and Sweden’s permanent representation at the United Nations in New York.

Håkan Jonsson, chairman of the Sami Parliament in Sweden, said he’s pleased with the announcement. 

“We welcome Anders Lidén as the new chairman of the Truth Commission,” he said. 

Anders Lidén, the new chair of of Sweden’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (Eskinder Debebe/UN)

Marie Persson Njajta, convener of the Sami Parliament’s steering group for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said the group thanked Calissendorff for her contributions to the process and was looking forward to carrying on the inquiry. 

“It’s gratifying that a new chairman has quickly arrived and can continue to lead the Truth Commission’s important work,” she said. 

Truth and Reconciliation in Sweden

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sweden began their work in spring 2022. The goal of the commission is to examine and review Sweden’s policies towards the Sami and their ongoing impacts in the present day.

It will also propose actions that promote reconciliation.

Lidén’s new posting will start on September 1. 

The final report is expected by December 2025.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: “We still have a lot of healing to do with our fellow Canadians” – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation observed September 30, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Sami Parliament in Finland agrees more time needed for Truth and Reconciliation Commission preparation, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Danish PM apologizes to Greenlanders taken to Denmark as children in 1950s, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Can cross-border cooperation help decolonize Sami-language education, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Sami in Sweden start work on structure of Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Eye on the Arctic

United States: Alaska reckons with missing data on murdered Indigenous women, Alaska Public Media

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