Sámi Histories, Colonialism, and Finland

Marte Spangen, Anna-Kaisa Salmi, Tiina Äikäs and Veli-Pekka Lehtola


Public apologies, compensations, and repatriation policies have been forms of reconciliation processes by authorities in Nordic countries to recognize and take responsibility of possible injustices in Sámi histories. Support for reconciliation politics has not been unanimous, however. Some Finnish historians have been ready to reject totally the subjugation or colonialism towards the Sámi in the history of Finnish Lapland. The article analyzes the contexts for the reasoning and studies the special nature of Sámi-Finnish relations. More profound interpretations are encouraged to be done, examining colonial processes and structures to clarify what kind of social, linguistic, and cultural effects the asymmetrical power relations have had.

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