A hospital bed at Maniitsoq Hospital like the one where Greenlandic women in the 60s and 70s received IUDs. © Jakob Lyberth

Several historical episodes have recently been at the centre of public debate in Greenland and Denmark, including adoptions of Greenlandic children by Danish families in the 60s and 70s and the so-called “judicial orphans”: lack of inheritance rights for Greenlanders born from unmarried Greenlandic women to Danish men. Now an investigative podcast has revealed yet another example of problematic guardianship from Danish authorities in Greenland: back in the 1960’s and 1970’s Danish health authorities placed thousands of intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUD) in Greenlandic women and girls to diminish population growth.

But contrary to prior years, the Danish government now proves to be more open to launch investigations into Denmark’s colonial past in Greenland.…  Seguir leyendo »

"Decolonize" is written on the base of the statue of missionary Hans Egede, covered in red paint by Greenlandic activists on June 21. © Christian Klindt Soelbeck / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP

On the morning of June 21, Greenland’s National Day, inhabitants in the capital Nuuk woke up to the statue of the missionary Hans Egede painted over with Inuit symbols, red paint on his face and the word “Decolonize” written on the plinth. However, the fate of the statue followed a somewhat different trajectory compared to other colonial statues around the world.

In August, after weeks of very intense public debate in Greenland following the action of activists on National Day, inhabitants in the municipality of which Nuuk is part, took a public vote on the matter and decided - perhaps surprisingly - that the statue should remain in place, towering high over the oldest part of Nuuk, still referred to as The Colonial Harbour.…  Seguir leyendo »

This week, the American people and the world have become much more familiar with Greenland, the world’s largest island. We know that two U.S. presidents, Harry Truman (in 1946) and Donald Trump (Friday) have expressed interest in purchasing it. President Truman quoted a price of $100 million in 1946; we never learned the figure President Trump had in mind. But the offer was moot before it was proffered: Greenland is not for sale, but very much “open for business,” according to Greenland’s foreign minister and the prime minister of Denmark.

Over the past few days, there have been many questions about the possible motivations behind the president’s interest in and enthusiasm for Greenland.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump has expressed a repeated interest in purchasing Greenland, the autonomous Danish territory that lies between the north Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

While the president’s motives are uncertain, the administration probably sees strategic value in controlling more of the territory. Holding Greenland would provide added leverage in the Arctic, where the United States faces increased competition from Russia and China.

Many took the news as farce, but it’s not the first time a U.S. president has considered buying the ice-covered territory. Secretary of State William H. Seward considered buying both Greenland and Iceland, a project he abandoned after his Alaska purchase deal met with fierce criticism.…  Seguir leyendo »

Editor’s note: In light of the news that President Trump is interested in purchasing Greenland, we asked Jeff Colgan to update his piece on toxic waste and climate change.

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump has repeatedly expressed interest in buying Greenland. Trump is reportedly interested in the territory’s national resources and usefulness to the U.S. military.

But there’s something lurking beneath Greenland’s icy surface that Trump may want to know about: toxic nuclear waste, left over from the Cold War, that may be exposed by climate change that is melting ice at a rapid rate.

What’s more, the United States may owe Denmark — the country Trump would presumably have to make a deal with to buy Greenland — money to pay for the environmental cleanup.…  Seguir leyendo »

Greenland may well develop into a large exporter of uranium. In the south of the island, rare earth deposits are among the largest in the world. Huge reserves of oil and gas are hidden off shore.

And yes, London Mining, a British mining company, and the Greenland self-government authority are luring the Chinese to invest $2 billion in an iron-ore mine close to the Greenland ice sheet some 175 kilometers north of Nuuk, the capital.

But let us stay cool as we discuss these prospects. Farfetched speculation is currently emanating from think-tanks and commentators on how Chinese military bases and Greenland’s rapid independence from Denmark are likely offshoots of these industrial projects.…  Seguir leyendo »

La 'Tierra Verde', la isla más grande del mundo después de Australia, la región de clima polar cubierto de hielo, la lejana Groenlandia, descubierta por el vikingo noruego Erik el Rojo en el siglo X (982), bajo soberanía noruega desde 1261, redescubierta por Martin Frobisher y John Davis en el siglo XVI, colonizada por el misionero luterano noruego Hans Egede (el Apóstol de Groenlandia) dos siglos después, protectorado estadounidense en 1941 por su gran valor estratégico, provincia danesa a partir de 1953 y territorio autónomo con gobierno propio desde 1979 tras un plebiscito popular en el que el 70% de los votos fueron favorables, celebró elecciones el pasado 2 de junio.…  Seguir leyendo »