I wish everyone a Happy New Year 2017
Savan buohkaide Buori Ođđa Jagi 2017
Historical year 2016
I am often asked why I deal with history and not to improve the future situation for the Saami People?
I usually respond that the future is a creation of the history. To look back creates opportunities for the future. If we do not look back a part of the future will be lost. Examples of this is that all lawsuits in Sweden, Norway and Finland where the Saami People won right to land, fishing rights, hunting rights or any other right has depended on knowledge of history (and of course a lot of knowledge of law). Without knowing the history Saami had to lost all these lawsuits. History is the way to a better juridical future for the Saami people as well as for all other indigenous peoples.
A people’s knowledge of their own history reinforces their own self-identity and tell us who we are. Without the knowledge of our own history we do not know who we are and where we come from.
History can also be abused. Lies can be used in destructive purposes. During 2016 it has been in the north Swedish newspapers, letters to the editor, in blogs or on websites statements that the Saami are immigrants in their own country, they do not have rights to a specific area of Lapland, the Saami shamanism is a copy of the Viking religion or that the Saami should go home where they come from and much more. By knowing our own history we can respond to the lies with facts. Without knowledge of history destructive lies can to live and thrive.
Knowledge of history fills an important function in our society! Historical knowledge has in 2016 given us a greater insight into who we are and where we come from, refutes several historical lies with facts, contributed to the Saami people to win lawsuits and hopefully created something better foundation for the future.
But, myself is not only working with history. I usually reply that I also work with law, politics, and to improve the Saami situation here and now. I do not want wait for the future, but let the future be realized today. I´m just to old for waiting. Everything can not be done, and everything can not be addressed at once. However, a trip starts with a first step. To reach the destination we have to initiate the trip. To stand still and is leading nowhere!
During the past year 2016, I, as a local politician in a Saami administrative municipality, made suggestions such as Saami language should be a merit in appointments as well as knowledge of the Saami culture, the municipal website and information should also be available in the Saami language, and that our local municipality now will be the first municipality in Sweden with Saami street signs. Personally, I am satisfied with what has been achieved in politics of the local municipal level during 2016. Hopefully the our little municipality in the high mountains will become a model municipality for other municipalities in Lapland. However, much remains to be done and much has to change in order to create a better future here and now. Hopefully in 2017 will be a year of change for the Saami people for the better future.
historic anniversary year 2017
What can we expect from 2017?
Without a doubt, 2017 will be the year of jubilee and especially for 100-year-olds!
I do not mean only that the LION celebrates 100 years as SSU, BMV, Swedish Chess Club, Swedish Brevduveförbundet, Swedish Vorstehklubben, Sigtunastiftelsen who built the city Sigtuna or other 100-year jubilee.
Nor do I mean that it is 100 years since the Russian Revolution that certainly will be noticed.
I do not mean that it’s been 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, and created a new Christianity. The event in itself is not historically coated. But, regardless, it has changed northern Europe.
Instead, I mean the Saami 100-year celebrations in the city of Trondheim, Norway. In year 1917 it was the first time that meeting was held with Saami representatives from both North and South. Id was the first meeting for the people Saami. The meeting is celebrated every year by the Saami National Day 6 February in memory of the Saami people first joint meeting.
Rather, I mean that independent Finland celebrates 100 years and where the Saami will be focus in several ways. The jubilee year starts at the beginning of 2017 and culminating in the independence day of Finland in December. The opening of the jubilee year starts with a big and visible festival on New Year’s Eve in the capital Helsinki. The theme of the anniversary year is “together” and hopefully the Finnish anniversary year will contribute more to include the Saami people.
Rather, I mean that the city of Sollefteå in Lapland, including the 100-year jubilee cities Trollhattan and Katrineholm, celebrates 100 years. Hopefully the 100 year anniversary will make the Saami and Saami culture more visibility in Sollefteå than before.
With this brief flashback to the topic Saami history I wish all readers of this blog a Happy New Year 2017.