Bridging the gap

Jennifer Kingsley
September 10, 2016

“Education has helped me to express what I feel inside,” said Jens Heinrich, an historian and political advisor to Greenlandic members of the Danish Parliament and a former member of the Greenlandic Reconciliation Commission. He is both Danish and Greenlandic. In Denmark, he says, “There is a lack of knowledge about Greenland, a lack of respect, and a lack of equality, and that is one of the main reasons I work, in order to enlighten this relationship.” As someone who lives within two cultures, Jens explains that “You were excluded if you didn’t look the way you should, or you didn’t speak the language you should. At the moment there is a demand that all Greenlanders speak Greenlandic but I don’t think that is the focus you should have. You should be able to function and better the conditions even if you don’t look the right way or speak the right language, but there are a lot of people being excluded on these grounds and that’s, well, not how it should be.”

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Jens Heinrich stands in the Danish Parliament.