It was in connection with the EU Commission’s meeting in Kiruna on Thursday that LKAB released the news that it had made the largest find in Europe of rare earth metals.
The Swedish Sami National Confederation and Gabna Sameby believe that the Swedish state, which owns LKAB, is systematically making invisible and displacing the Sami and Sami culture.
“The reindeer husbandry area is split into two parts”
– The Sami traditional reindeer herding area is split in two and the Sami’s right to practice their culture is made impossible, they say in a joint press release ahead of a press conference to be held on Friday afternoon.
The Swedish Sami National Confederation and Gabna Sameby further write that the indigenous Sami people seem to have no importance for both Sweden and the EU.
– Since the beginning of the 20th century, the area has already been heavily exploited by the mining industry. The Sami have been gradually forced off land, settlements and traditional reindeer migration routes can no longer be used.
– LKAB’s constantly expanding mining and ore transport is at the expense of the Sami’s opportunity to practice and preserve their culture, say the Swedish Sami Confederation and Gabna Sameby.