Arctic Network for the Support of the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian Arctic (ansipra) Сеть Арктических Организаций в Поддержку Коренных Народов Российского Севера




НазваниеArctic Network for the Support of the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian Arctic (ansipra) Сеть Арктических Организаций в Поддержку Коренных Народов Российского Севера
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Aside from planned activities, the workshop par­tici­pants raised and discussed other key problems facing indigenous peoples of the North.

Workshop participants showed concern for what is an obvious lack of legal aid in the regions where indi­ge­nous peoples live. There are great difficulties, both fi­nan­cial and in terms of a shortage of qualified legal personnel capable of defending indigenous peoples' rights. Two suggestions were made to remedy that situation.

Firstly, there is a distinct need to issue a guide­book on current legislation affecting indigenous peo­ples, on their rights and responsibilities. Such a guidebook should contain commentary that makes it easier for indigenous peoples to understand and use laws in their daily lives. Involvement of foreign legal experts capable of providing commentary on practical implementation of analogous laws in the countries where they practice was broadly encouraged. The commentaries should contain examples of problems and how they are resolved based on experiences im­ple­menting the law. Such a guidebook would have an enormous impact in the field.

It is RAIPON’s opinion that a section of the guide­book should contain specific examples of violations on indigenous peoples’ rights and recommendations on protecting the interests of victims.

Secondly, a center for the protection of indigenous peo­ples' rights should be created to provide consul­tation on current issues, to litigate to protect the rights of indigenous peoples and to train legal experts in skills necessary to deal with the needs of indige­nous peoples. Ms. Irina Degtyar', Head of the Depart­ment of Indigenous Peoples of the North (Goskom­sever), supported this idea and suggested that federal finan­cial support be started at the early stage with an eventual shift to self-financing. "Ecojuris," a law of­fice already litigating to defend the rights of indi­ge­nous peoples, was acknowledged and earned high praise and sup­port. The firm’s opportunities are, how­ever, very limi­ted and is unable to satisfy all the demands of indige­nous peoples for legal aid.

In RAIPON’s opinion it is critically important that a center for legal aid for indigenous peoples be an association, whose creation and activities be carried out as part of the RAIPON program and be under its leadership. Only in such a case will its activities be maximally effective.

Industrial disturbance and environmental pollution found in several regions has not only made traditional economic activities impossible, it has also created se­rious living problems for the indigenous peoples of the north living on these lands. Ecological research to assess the impact of environmental changes on the lives of indigenous peoples should be conducted and a system of compensation payments to communities to restore the environment in their natural habitats (in part, carry out the re-cultivation of lands and the organisation of new forms of economic activities) could be an outcome of such research.

Thirdly, based on the materials presented in the RAIPON report, it was convincingly demonstrated that resolving the problems of indigenous peoples of the North, including nature and non-nature use on land-use territories, cannot be successfully car­ried out without significant improvements in the phy­sical and psychological health of the population.

Given rapidly declining general health in Russia, research must be conducted in the area of health pro­tec­tion and developing medical methods to identify and overcome illness given certain physical condi­tions (distance of the population; its scattered and dispersed nature; migratory way of life; the lack of hospitals and field clinics). An acute need to develop and legitimize a new concept of health protection for the people of the North is needed. RAIPON identifies the following three practical need areas:

1) Create and organise in district and regional centers integrated mobile medical units with diagnos­tic, preventive health and treatment capabilities to service indigenous people. The aim will be to event­u­ally transfer these facilities to the authority of a single federal service responsible to protect health and pro­vide treatment for indigenous peoples of the North.

Mobile medical units that currently exist where indi­ge­nous peoples live are very ineffective or do not ope­rate at all for a variety of regional reasons. The main reasons are a lack of understanding of their role and significance, the narrow range of their capacities, in­ade­quate gear and financing, the lack of a full range of specialists and organisational miscalculations.

2) Create a single federal service for protecting the health of people on territories of traditional nature use and of indigenous peoples of the North.

3) Create a health center for indigenous peoples of the North as part of RAIPON to gather positive expe­rien­ces, treatment and preventive medical proce­dures, and information on a healthy life-style and sport to be distri­buted where indi­ge­nous peoples of the North live.

The international workshop recommends, as priority sci­entific projects, types of research that will promote improvements in socio-economic conditions, health and civil rights status:

1) Analyze the current conceptual basis, and develop new terms and criteria, for determining the ethnic affiliation of individuals to a specific group of Rus­sian peoples currently designated as "indi­ge­nous peoples of the North", in accordance with Rus­sian experience and international practice; stan­dar­dization of terms used in legal acts regulating the acti­vities of this group of the populace.

2) Standardize the term "territory of traditional na­ture use" (TTP) by establishing the conceptual basis for this kind of territory: status of TTP and the rights of indigenous peoples of the North; the procedure for defining boundaries and for changing possession; ac­cept­able types of economic activities; management principles; ethnic composition.

3) Develop model projects emphasizing sustainable, ethno-ecological territories and models for self-ma­na­ge­ment bodies for indigenous peoples of the North in view of the historical, socio-economic, cultural and regional features of their livelihood.

4) Analysis of the impact of environmental changes on the health of the indigenous peoples of the North. Eco­nomic and legal rationale for developing fi­nan­cing mechanisms that compensate indigenous peoples of the North that conduct a traditional way of life for the losses incurred from seizure of lands, from envi­ron­mental pollution and from destruction of tra­ditional ways of life.

5) Contemporary tendencies in the creation of new views on one’s position in society and in the economy that direct indigenous peoples of the North toward both a renaissance and adaptation of traditional areas of economic activity, and toward participation in other areas of economic activity.

6) Socio-political and medical-biological aspects of alcoholism among indigenous peoples of the North; comparative research in Arctic countries.

7) Ethno-sociological and psychological reasons for the growth in suicidal behavior among indigenous peo­ples of the North.

8) Traditional and non-traditional methods of pre­vent­ing and curing alcoholism: study of its ethno-sociological and ethno-psychological roots; develop ef­fect­ive approaches to preventing this problem in regions where indigenous peoples of the North live since it is a basic obstacle to their future development.

9) Determine the basic health indicators for indi­ge­nous peoples of the North with the goal of defining, in stages, federal and regional criteria for developing and implementing a program of health measures.

In making proposals to develop measures to protect the health of indigenous peoples of the North, the work­shop also recommends that the latter two points, numbers eight and nine, be combined into a single bloc and examined in the context of a special medical pro­gram. In addition to these two scientific projects, the following should also be included:

10) Research on living conditions in all regions in­ha­bi­ted by indigenous peoples of the North.

11) Ecological research on territories of traditional na­ture use with the goal of identifying radionuclides, hea­vy metals, other harmful substances and to deter­mine their degree and levels in humans.

12) Research on the aetiology and pathogeny for tuber­cu­losis among individuals engaged in reindeer her­ding and other traditional branches of the eco­no­my to develop and introduce effective methods for dia­gnosing and additionally studying the disease where patients live on a full time basis.

13) Develop portable X-ray equipment and other port­able medical equipment for the remote Northern regions.

14) Scientifically based nutritional needs in the current diet of indigenous peoples.

This is a list of priority scientific projects that have the support of the State Committee of the Russian Fe­de­ration for North Affairs (Goskomsever) and Rus­sian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON).

At the same time, RAIPON believes that these and any other research on problems of peoples of the North should be carried out in full cooperation with the Association.

The organisers and workshop participants are ap­peal­ing to various organisations with a request to provide financial support to carry out this research.



__________________________________________________________________________________________


Re. Question no. F 33 Motion no. V 88


The Danish Parliament (Folketing) 1999-2000

Motion to carry

(May 4th 2000)


Proposed by Hans Pavia Rosing (S), Ellen Kristensen (V), Per Stig Møller (KF), Margrete Auken (SF), Peter Skaarup (DF), Ebbe Kalnæs (CD), Inger Marie Bruun-Vierø (RV), Keld Albrechtsen (EL), Jann Sjursen (KRF), and Tom Behnke (FRI):

‘The Parliament welcomes the plans to revise its “Strategy for Danish Support to Indigenous Peoples” of July 1994 in connection with a revision of “Partnership 2000”, the overall strategy for Danish development aassistance.

‘The Parliament considers it of the utmost importance that Denmark retain its position at the cutting edge of progress with regard to policies and legislation concerning indigenous people, a position for which the basis has already been established via the abovementioned Strategy. Parliament expects that this line of policy be maintained in a revised Strategy.

‘The Parliament stresses the importance of Denmark’s continued active policy to further and promote the social and economic circumstances of indigenous people, and urges the Government

  • to continue its close collaboration with the Greenland Home Rule Government, as well as with indigenous peoples’ international organisations, in order that Denmark may be placed at the very front regarding the national and multilateral work for indigenous people within the framework of the UN Decade for Indigenous People;

  • to continue its efforts to promote the adoption in the UN of the World Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the earliest possible date, as well as to assure the creation of a Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples;

  • to continue the endeavour to involve the Nordic countries and the EU partners in a joint formulation of a policy based on the Danish Strategy, and;

  • to assure the access to support for indigenous people in countries that are not in the usual sense considered development countries (within the context of development aid programmes), and in this connection to make possible that Danish aid to indigenous people in Central and Eastern Europe be given a higher priority.’


The motion was carried by 106 votes; nobody voted ‘no’, and nobody abstained.

The International Public Fund for support to economic and social development of the Northern indi­ge­nous peoples (Fund NIP) approached the ANSIPRA Secretariat with the request to publish the following project proposal in order to find sponsors. We would like to urge persons with potential interest in sponsoring marketing projects in Russia to study the proposal and contact the authors or the ANSIPRA Secretariat. The proposal has been worked out with the participation of indigenous peoples' repre­sent­atives at RAIPON. --The Editor


Project “REINDEER”


Stage 2:

Marketing research on reindeer products in the Yamalo-Nenets Auto­no­mous District

with the aim to increase employment and well-being of the northern indigenous population


Implementing organisation: International Public Fund for support to economic and social development of the northern indi­ge­nous peoples (Fund NIP)

Supporting organisations: Administration of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, Union of Reindeer Herders of Russia.

Term of project completion: 2 years

The sum sought from financing organisation:

US$ 57,684


1. SUMMARY

Fund NIP (the International Public Fund for support to economic and social development of the Northern in­di­­ge­­nous peoples) considers as one of its major tasks assistance to development of traditional bran­ches of the northern indigenous peoples' economy, including pro­mo­ting their goods on the Russian and international markets.

Through Project "Reindeer", the Fund NIP plans to use the existing reindeer farm in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District as a base for the deve­lop­ment of a pilot enterprise for complex processing of reindeer products, including not only meat and skin, but also deer velvet, sinew, endocrines and enzymes. The project could serve as a model for simi­lar initiatives elsewhere in the Russian North, eventu­al­ly reviving and raising the standard of reindeer her­ding throughout the region.

The first stage of the project, in which the necessity of a network of reindeer processing facilities was shown, has been completely executed and paid for by Ya­ma­lo-Nenets Autonomous District (YNAD) admini­stra­tion. Its full cost was 22,400 US dollars.

Marketing research on reindeer products, inclu­ding the analysis of the consumers, competitors and mar­ket en­vi­ronment, will be an important part of the pro­ject. Mar­keting analysis will allow the deter­mi­na­tion of optimum volumes of production, and costs and profit in conditions of an economically competitive environment.

Implementation of the second stage of the “Rein­deer” project will require 57,684 US dollars.


2. PROBLEM DESCRIPTION

The indigenous population of the Russian North now totals about 200,000 and consists of 30 peoples who lead a traditional, nomadic way of life. They represent 2 % of the entire population of these regions. They live in places they have traditionally inhabited and lead a way of life based on traditional economic and land use pat­terns. The Soviet policy of accelerated industrial assimi­lation of the Russian North and inten­sive integration of the indigenous peoples in a unified national economic system resulted in the loss of many elements of tra­ditional material and spiritual culture. The hasty and unreasoned realization of market reforms of the last de­ca­de severely affected the nor­thern indigenous peoples, de­stroying a system of wel­fare that included economic support to reindeer her­ding which traditionally has been a subsistence basis for the majority of these peoples. As a result of these reforms, the northern domestic reindeer herd was reduced from 2,260,000 head in 1992 to 1,415,100 head in 1998 (even lower than the pre-war level), which severely endangered the cultural survival of these indigenous groups. This has been accompanied by a sharp decrease in employment and standard of living among northern indigenous peoples. Between 1992 and 1997 the rate of unemployment among the aboriginal population was multiplied 7.9 times, while the average of Russia was 3.5 times.

The subsistence economy of these peoples tradi­tion­al­ly comprised a combination of reindeer herding, fish­ing, hunting and gathering of wild fruits and plants.

Prior to the 20th century the Russian Empire chose a policy of indirect management of the northern indi­ge­­nous people: the authorities collected Yasak (State Tax) but did not interfere with their everyday life. Up to the beginning of the 20th century the natives of the Siberian North managed to preserve their cultural uni­que­ness, in­clu­ding their traditional economy and social organisation.

The 20th century, however, was marked by a na­tion­al policy that aimed to enforce the incorporation of indi­genous peoples in the wider process of the coun­try's development. The principal phases of this policy were: the campaign against illiteracy in the 1920s, for­ma­tion of national districts in the 1920s-40s, collecti­vi­za­tion in the 1930s, transition to a sedentary lifestyle in the 1950s, rapid industrialization in the 1950s-60s, and incorporation into the wider market economy in the 1990s.

The positive effects of this policy included the development of written languages for all indigenous peo­ples, state education, welfare programmes, and the esta­blishment of nature reserves and other protected areas.

At the end of 1980s, the indigenous peoples of the North joined the country's democratic transforma­tions. All-union and regional associations of indige­nous peoples were established; in 1993 these were trans­for­med into the current Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East of the Rus­sian Federation (RAIPON). Parliamenta­rians elected from the indigenous peoples of the North actively parti­ci­pated in shaping Russian legislation.

The transfer of Russia's economy to market rails had the hardest impacts on the aboriginal peoples of the North. Cuts in the budgets of public health, culture and welfare services has resulted in disastrous effects on their socio-economic position. Attempts of the state to correct the situation by establishing Goskom­sever (State Committee for the Development of the North), with the prime task of developing state pro­gram­mes to support the aboriginal population, have been obviously insuf­fi­cient. Compounding difficul­ties, the activities of Gos­kom­sever were seriously hin­dered by endless reorganisations and transfers of its functions from one to another ministry. Finally, in 1994 financial support for the tradi­tional economy was stopped.

Against a backdrop of a nation-wide economic cri­sis, government measures have been inadequate to ad­dress the regional crisis of the North. Only 5-10 % of bud­gets for national and regional development pro­gram­mes is actually financed, and this has very little influ­ence on the plight of Northern indigenous peo­ples.

As has been seen in Europe, Asia and Australia, the practice of "helping backward people" to join "civi­li­zed people" does not yield favourable out­com­es, regardless of the funds allocated to the endea­vour. Such attempts inevitably result in the de­struc­tion of cultural and eco­no­mic bases of traditional societies.

One realistic and effective strategy for ensuring the well-being of the indigenous peoples of North, and the continuation of their unique ways of life is the deve­lop­ment of traditional branches of their economy in their traditional residence areas.

The experience of Norway and Finland in assisting Saa­mi reindeer herding development with the use of mo­dern processing technology and marketing has shown that herding can serve as the basic life-support of the natives, ensuring an acceptable standard of li­ving. Rein­deer herding farms in New Zealand and Canada have done well for themselves, seizing a good share of South­east Asian markets with reindeer pro­ducts used as raw materials in traditional Eastern me­di­cine. These ex­am­ples should be used as role mo­dels to increase pro­fit­abi­lity of Russian reindeer herding.

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