Long Live the Sámi National Day!

Translated by a contributor for Tjen Folket Media

By the editorial board of Tjen Folket Media 

On the 6th of February the Sámi National Day is celebrated. It was adopted at the Sámi Comference in 1992 and has been held every year since 1993. It is celebrated by the Sámi people in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.  

The Sámi heartland

The Sámi people have developed in these areas side by side with other people. In the last millennium the creation of states and religion has displaced and after a while oppressed and assimilated the Sámi people. 

Throughout most of the 1900s the Sámi people in Norway was put through a ruthless “Norwegianization”. This meant it was forbidden to talk the Sámi languages in schools and in other public contexts. This meant children was taken away from their parents and women was forced to be sterilized. The same policy was used against the Kven people and the Romani people.

Today it is estimated that 2% of the population in Norway is Sámi, but many more has Sámi ancestors. The low population is due to assimilation and oppression. Systemic hatred and harassment has made it so that many denies their heritage. Others don’t know about it, due to adoptions and other types coercion.

Especially in the most northern counties must we assume that there is a large part that can trace their family history back to Sámi roots.

Throughout several decades the Sámi peoples has struggled against oppression. It has lead to the Sámi peoples survival and their further development. We have seen how environmental struggle in many cases has fused with the Sámi struggle for self-determination and protection of areas where Sámis has traditionally lived and where they have herd reindeer, hunted and fished. 

The Sámi people has many similarities with indigenous people and national minorities in other countries. Marginalization and poverty is over represented among them, which is a direct result of the national oppression. The Norwegian state is not only an imperialist, but also a colonial power within its own border.

The Sámi question was addressed by the Marxist-Leninist movement in the 70s, but the Maoist movement has not yet analysed og synthesized the question of the Sámi peoples character and the political strategy for their struggle. 

But we will still affirm that a socialist revolution in Norway must fuse with the Sámi struggle against the Norwegian states century long tradition of assimilation and oppression. We do not believe Sámi self-determination and freedom can be won within the Norwegian imperialist state, only through independence and socialism. 

It is with this perspective we greet the Sámi National Day!

Some picture from the Sami political struggle against construction and intervention in nature:

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Let the river live!