Uppsala University: The University to hand over human remains to Arjeplog’s Sami association

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Uppsala University is now handing over the remains of a man contained in the University’s collections to Arjeplog’s Sami association. He will be interred at a ceremony in Arjeplog on 9 September, along with other remains contained in Lund University’s collections.

In June 2021, the University received a request from Arjeplog’s Sami association for the repatriation (return) of a skeleton contained in Gustavianum’s historical collections. The Vice-Chancellor then requested permission from the Government to hand over the remains, and in June this year the Government decided to permit the repatriation.

A delegation from each university will participate in the ceremony in Arjeplog, which is organised by Arjeplog’s Sami association and the Church of Sweden.

“The heritage managed by Uppsala University entails a responsibility. We have held a constructive and active dialogue with the Sami Parliament of Sweden with a view to contribute to the reconciliation process,” notes Uppsala University’s Vice-Chancellor Anders Hagfeldt.

Aided by documentation relating to the collections and investigations at Stockholm’s city archive, the University has been able to determine that the remains come from a male parishioner in Arjeplog’s parish. He died in 1892 while serving a life sentence at Långholmen Central Prison. At that time, it was not unusual for bodies of persons who died in prison to be handed over to the University for use in medical courses and research.

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