"From my horizon"

The three "musketeers"
strikes again!

The Swedish farmer organisation LRF starts a new trial over native reindeergrazing landrights. The Swedish hunting organisation "Svenska Jägareförbundet" starts another trial over native huntingrights and the national organsiation Swedish Federation of Forest Owners creates an certification on their own where native landrights are omitted.

This is the stage for the three "musketeers", Hans Jonsson, Bo Toresson and Tage Klingberg, the chairmen of each of those three organisations.

The hunting, farmer and forestowner organisations have become the worst adversaries of the Sami people during the 1990'st. As brothers in arms or as single combattants they have struck their blows against the native rights. With a membership of almost 600 000 individuals they have acted purposeful and with a political prowness against the only native people in Europe. In a true colonialistic spirit!
-We are the stronger so you just have to roll over and play dead, have been their, perhaps not outspoken, but yet very clear message to the Sami people.

The report from the commitee for Sami rights, the prime factor?

It all started in 1989 when the commitee for Sami rights presented their final report. During the following months we could see large advertisments and posters where the forestowners was urged to participate in "informationmeetings." With slogans like: "Forestry or the reindeers" and "You will soon get the natives as part owners of your land" was among the headlines which would bring the hesitant to their meetings. Clearly desinformative and instigating.
The mid-Swedish forestryorganisation "Mellanskog" claimed that: "If the commitee's suggestion is passed as a bill the Sami's could become co-owners of your forests. We need an united front and strong reaction against these suggestions."
The Swedish hunting and farmer organisations started their partnership in this matter in December 1989 by presenting a suggestion for a new policy of their own for small game hunting and fishing on native lands.
In brrief it could be said that their suggestion was that the right for hunting and fishing within the boundaries of the native communitys should be set free for everyone. Since the parliament voted for this suggestion in december 1992 without reservations, they truly had hit the jackpot.
It must not be forgotten how they reached this goal, by the long lasting campaigning in their publications like the one in Svensk Jakt "Swedish hunting" where they belittled and contemptously mocked the Sami's in an openly rasistic way.

Trials over native landrights

In 1990 it was time for the national organisation for the farmers "Lantbrukarnas Riksförbund" and their forestowner counterpart "Mellanskog" as well as three multinational forestry corporations to serve a written summons against five Sami communitys in Härjedalen. Six years later the verdict of the court was the hardest possible, that the natives hadn't any right of grazing for their reindeers on the winterlands. Today there's other similar trials in the works in Dalarna, southern Jämtland, Västerbotten and Norrbotten. The works of the farmer and forestry organisations are seen everywhere.


The Swedish Federation of Forest Owners are now trying to introduce one alternative and by their own created and supervised certification for the forestryindustry. This is done since they refuse to accept the international Forest Stewardship Counsil declaration where it is clearly stated that the forestowners and industry should accept native landrights such as the right for reindeergrazing in the reindeerhusbandry areas.
The latter FSC have been developed by the enviromental organisations, forest industry and social organisations together. The treaty to be supervised by independent administrators.

Time to change battlefields

We Sami's must strike back against these attacks. We must organize ourselves and create our own campaign, where the main adversaries clearly are these three organisations.
We cannot trust judgements, investigations, courts or excuses from the politicians of this country. Shure they have stated that they care for the Sami culture and the reindeerhusbandry, but they don't have the courage to challenge those large organisations.
In the domestic area we are bound to lose. We must take this battle to the international scene. There is only there we could find understanding and support for our legitimate demands for a just treatement as a minority and an indigenous people. It is only with foreign support that our smaller group of 17 000 individuals could stand against the 600 000 heads strong army of our adversarys. The only question that remains is which Sami organisation that dare to be the colour-baerer.

By: Olof Johansson E-mail

Other texts on this subject:

Recent threat on authors community:
  • Threatened native community
    The chairman of the Sami organisation SSR asks if this is part of an:
  • Ethnical cleansing in Sweden?
  • Yet this is not only happening in Sweden, read: Judicial decision cause for indignation in Norway
    External link:
  • A protest of the outcome of the trial against native landrights
  • Related subjects:

  • Application of International Law on the Biodiversity Treaty Convention
  • Demonstration against the free small game hunting described in this text.
  • Meatbroth sold in fundraising support for the native communitys in Härjedalen.
  • What Is Forest Stewardship?
  • Link to the webpage for the Swedish Federation of Forest Owners English version