Otso Kortekangas

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In Norway, the majority population has little or no knowledge of the language, culture and history of indigenous peoples and national minorities, according to the report by the Norwegian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. © Olivier Morin / AFP

At midday on June 1, Norwegian Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) chairman Dagfinn Høybråten handed over the final report to Norwegian parliament president Masud Gharahkhani at an official ceremony in Stortinget, Oslo. An hour later, only a few 100 metres away, leader of Kvääniteatteri (the Kven Theatre) Frank Jørstad took stage at the National Theatre to give the first reading aloud of the full TRC report, nearly 700-pages long. This reading took more than 35 hours and could be followed live on the national broadcaster NRK and listening posts around the country.

But other than these two events, the Norwegian TRC has rarely made national headlines in the nearly five years it has been working.…  Seguir leyendo »

Who gets to decide who gets to vote in the Sámi parliament in Finland? The debate is dividing the political field and is of primary interest to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. © Johanna Alatorvinen / Samediggi - Saamelaiskarajat

A Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) probing state-Sámi relations in Finland is preparing to restart its work after a timeout due to changes in its constellation. At the same time, the Finnish parliament debates the definition of Sámi – the Indigenous people that inhabits the northern parts of Finland, Norway, Sweden and a part of Russia – according to Finnish law. In November, the preparation for a new law regulating who can be registered as voters in the Sámi parliament elections in Finland turned into a source of conflict and mistrust between the Social Democrats and the Centre Party, both parts of the Finnish coalition government.…  Seguir leyendo »