- Speakers of the Meänkieli language in Sweden were subjected to physical and emotional abuse, and even racial biology examinations.
- That’s part of the evidence collected by a truth and reconciliation commission looking at historical assimilation policies targeting Tornedalians, Kvens and Lantalainen, minority groups based mostly in northern Sweden and along the Finnish border.
- ”Their mother tongue, Meänkieli, became something they started to feel shamed of,” says Anna-Lena Sjölund, one of the commission’s secretaries. A similar truth commission for the Sami people is also currently underway.
Related stories from around the North:
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