Abuse and shame the legacies of Sweden’s old assimilation polices: report

The Swedish flag during ceremony celebrating Sweden’s national day at Skansen on June 06, 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Michael Campanella/Getty Images)
  • 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.
Radio Sweden
For more on Sweden’ truth and reconciliation commission, listen to Radio Sweden’s full report

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

Radio Sweden

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