One year ago, Archbishop Antje Jackelén made an official apology from the Church of Sweden to the Sámi people in Uppsala Cathedral. The apology was made once again on 23 October.
“It is important that the apology is also made in Sápmi and not only in the national sanctuary in Uppsala,” said Jackelén.
Ságastallamat, a two-day conference held on 21–22 October, concluded with a special service of worship in Luleå Cathedral, where the apology from the Church of Sweden to the Sámi people was made again. Ságastallamat means dialogue or conversation in Northern Sámi.
“Reconciliation is a long process in which the apology is a necessary milestone. Those receiving the apology must be given time to respond. This is another reason why it makes sense for the apology to be made on two occasions, almost a year apart,” said Jackelén.
In cooperation between the Church of Sweden at national level, the Sámi Council of the Church of Sweden and the northern dioceses, an action plan has been developed. It is based on the eight commitments made by the Church of Sweden. It focuses on five different areas to be developed by 2026. These include influence and participation, Sámi ecclesiastical life, Sámi children and young people, indigenous rights and land management and forestry.
“The development work is taking time, but things are not standing still,” says Erik-Oscar Oscarson, chairman of the Sámi Council of the Church of Sweden. “I am proud of the action plan that has been fully drafted and I have high hopes for the work that now lies ahead.”
The event can be viewed on the Church of Sweden’s website.
Apology to the Sámi to be made in Sápmi (Church of Sweden press release of 11 October 2022)
Church of Sweden publicly apologises for abuse of Sámi people (WCC press release of 26 November 2021)