Prime Minister Erna Solberg took issue with ‘Norwegianisation policies’ during the centenary of the first Sami congress in Trondheim.
– The Norwegianisation policy is a black chapter in Norwegian history.
It forced Sami people to put away their culture and their language. Several generations were taught to believe that talking Sami or to be Sami was something shameful, and had to be kept quiet.
It is fortunately not current politicy today, the Prime Minister said to a packed square in Trondheim during the opening ceremony for the centenary Tråante 2017.
She noted that in recent decades a key objective of the Sami policy has been to correct the negative effects that followed the Norwegianisation policy. She noted that the Sami Parliament, the Sami Act and a separate constitutional provisions are now in place.
– Several important Sami institutions have been established, which have all contributed to revitalizing the Sami language and Sami culture, said Solberg.
Same Political pioneer
Both Solberg and parliamentary president Olemic Thommessen praised the Sami Swedish-Norwegian pioneer woman Elssa Laula Renberg, who formed the Brurskanken Sami women union in 1910.
It was this association that gathered at the Sami Trondheim meeting which have since been compared with Sami Eidsvoll Assembly.
What we are celebrating today is the breakthrough for the Sami collective mind, the association of Sami interests around common political goals, said the parliamentary president.
The opening Day for the first Sami congress has since been instituted as the Sami National Day for all Sami people in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.
The main celebration of the anniversary is held in Trondheim where during the anniversary week 120 different events will be held.
From the stage in Trondheim there will also be opening speeches from the three Saami parliament presidents of Norway, Sweden and Finland. The Norwegian speaking Sami President Vibeke Larsen gave her speech in Sami to great applause from the crowd in Trondheim.
-Tråante celebrates and marks the 100-year-old Sami fight for their rights. This is work we can not pause from, and the Sami Parliament should be the one that leads, said Larsen.
She stressed that the Sami community development is far from complete.
It is a daily struggle that anyone who belongs to our society must take part in, said the Sami president.
Under Tråante commemoration in Trondheim , the cultural-political bodies Saami Council and the Sami parliaments in Norway, Sweden and Finland will also meet .
King Harald attended the anniversary church service at the Nidaros cathedral on Monday morning , which is the highlight of the ecclesiastical celebration of Tråante 2017.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today