Storting President Masud Gharahkhani says that the Truth Commission’s report is confirmation of how Norway has failed minorities and indigenous peoples.
How good we are at protecting indigenous peoples and our minorities is one of the most important signs of whether we live up to our duties and values. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was appointed because we realised that we as a society have failed in that task. Today we get serious confirmation of this, says Gharahkhani (Ap).
It is now proposed to establish a National Competence Center for Norwegianization policy and injustice.
The centre’s most important task is to remedy the lack of knowledge that the commission has uncovered. The aim of the commission’s proposed measures are to facilitate changes in terms of knowledge, attitudes, actions and emotions that meet the wishes and needs of the Sami, Kven and Forest Finns, the commission’s report states.
They envisage the Center for Holocaust Studies (HL-senteret) or the National Center for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada as role models for such a centre of expertise. The knowledge must then be spread so that young Norwegians are properly trained.
Knowledge of the Norwegianisation policy and its consequences should be strengthened in teaching in primary and secondary schools, also colleges and universities the commission further suggests.
The population lacks knowledge about so-called indigenous peoples such as forest Finns, Sámi and Kven, the commission believes.
Central authorities must set clear, overarching objectives for how public authorities will contribute to strengthening knowledge about Sami, Kven/Norwegian-Finnish and Forest-Finnish relations.
NTB reports on this in several instances. Dagfinn Høybråten was chairman of the commission and handed over the report today. The Control and Constitution Committee will process the report before decisions are taken by the Storting in plenary session.
What has been handed over to the Storting today are serious results. These concern and affect us all, says the president of the Storting.
Sami Parliament President Silje Karine Muotka says that society at large must recognize the findings revealed in the truth commission’s report.
There are moments and events that stand as time dividers in history. Today could be such a day, says Moutka after the report was presented.
Many expectations and strong feelings are attached to the report and its content. We look forward to reading it, even if it will also hurt, she says.
The Sami came to Norwegian soil many thousands of years after the country was settled. The Kvener resident in Norway was first documented from the 16th century (SNL). Then the influx of Kvens increased in connection with the Great Nordic War (1700–1721), but this cannot really be called immigration, since the border between Sweden and Norway was not determined until 1751.
Skogfinner is an ethnic group originating from Finns from Savolax and Tavastland who settled in the forest areas of Sweden and Norway, especially the area that became known as Finnskogen on both sides of the Swedish-Norwegian border. The majority of this Finnish emigration occurred during the hundred-year period approx. 1575–1660. In other words: relatively recently.
Everyone is indigenous, except for us ordinary Norwegians, who came here first. What happens when we become a minority? No commission is investigating this question, because everyone understands how brutal it will be.
Norwegianisation, especially against the Sami, can easily be criticised. But one has to wonder why a so-called indigenous people is unable to adapt to our country after several thousand years, or a few hundred years, in the case of Kvens and Skogfinner.
Why do you think that people from Afghanistan and Somalia should be more successful? They are “Norwegians” as soon as they arrive, according to King Harald.