Sametingspresidentens tale under åpningen av Bodø2024 European Capital of Culture

Sametingspresident Silje Karine Muotka talte under den formelle åpningen av Bodø som europeisk kulturhovedstad i 2024 lørdag 3. februar. Her kan du lese talen hennes.

(kun engelsk versjon tilgjengelig, for nordsamisk versjon, bytt språk i språkvelgeren)

Her Majesty the Queen, dear all.
I would like to begin by respectfully acknowledging that we are now gathered in a central part of the Sámi territories, where the Lule Sámi and the Pite Sámi have inhabited these areas througout the generations. This is also home to Northern Sámi, Southern Sámi and Ume Sámi people. I would therefore also use this opportunity to welcome you all to Sápmi.

The Sámi culture is our precious treasure; that resonates with our innermost being. The Sámi culture moves across both national and international borders. It is a sign of resilience, as it has survived and thrived through tough crises. The Norwegian Truth and Reconciliation Commission has stated that Sámi artists early on have been a dissenting voice against the harsh Norwegianisation-policy, with the aim of assimilating us to the extent that the Sámi culture and cultural heritage would completely fade away. 

The Norwegianisation policy has caused great damage. Many Sámi have been deprived of their ancestral knowledge and cultural belonging. It is now time to start to restore this damage, and I believe that Sámi art and culture can have a significant role in this process. Sámi culture is diverse and free, with the ability to challenge, attract and teach us. Through art and culture it is possible to gain a new and deeper understanding and to discover alternative ways to communicate and reconcile. I believe art and culture can have a role in our common task of building our society for the future, if given the space and opportunities. 

Sámi art and culture have long been invisible and hidden in the majority society. Now the winds are changing, and Bådådjo as the European Cultural Capital will have an unique opportunity to promote Sámi culture. The Sámi Parliament and Bådådjo as the European Cultural Capital have entered into a cooperation agreement in which we agree to prioritize Sámi culture, Sámi events and institutions throughout the year.

It makes me very proud that Bodø2024 has clearly expressed both ambition and willingness in this, and I believe that the Sámi perspectives will be of great value to everyone involved. Often we tend to think that the assimilation policies only affected the minorities, but also the majority population in the Nordic states have suffered great losses due to the lack of knowledge and understanding about out collective history and cultural heritage. Bodø2024 will therefore also be an important arena for raising awareness of Sámi issues both locally, regionally and internationally. 

My hope for the future is that the Sámi culture, our art and our languages will be a natural and equal part of the majority societies. We know that bigger events and arrangements where the Sámi culture is included and displayed often generate bigger attention and demand of the Sámi culture. I am therefore excited to see where sámi culture moves through Bådådjo as the European Cultural Capital. However, I am mostly looking forward to see our Sámi talents and their work on different scenes throughout this year. I wish you all good luck.
Giitu! Thank you!