Small indigenous ethnic groups expand in Russia
Over a period of the past 30 years, Russia’s small indigenous ethnic groups have increased by over 20 percent.
“The state policy with regard to small indigenous ethnic groups has produced the following main result: These groups have grown by over 20 percent over a period of the past 30 years,” Head of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs Igor Barinov said at the 2nd Forum of Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East in Salekhard.
According to Barinov, about 47 small indigenous ethnic groups or in terms of numbers over 300,000 people now live in Russia, primarily in the North, Siberia and the Far East. All of them have a special status and enjoy various official privileges.
Congress delegates also re-elected Grigory Ledkov, the incumbent President of the Association of Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East.
“The congress of the Association of Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East was held as part of the Forum, and its delegates re-elected the Association’s President Grigory Ledkov for another term. In all, 245 out of the 255 delegates supported his candidacy,” the event’s organizers said.
Ledkov has initiated key legislative changes aiming to improve the quality of life of small Northern indigenous peoples. One of his most important initiatives is to compile a joint register of small Northern indigenous ethnic groups. The register is now in the making, and the relevant list is to be finalized in 2022. With Ledkov’s assistance, a difficult situation linked with a legal gap in adopting children by nomads has also been resolved at the federal level. Their traditional lifestyle rules out any places of permanent residence, and this prevented nomads from becoming foster parents.
On April 4-8, 2021, Salekhard is the venue of the 2nd Forum of Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East. The participants are discussing cooperation between the regions within the framework of such organizations as the Northern Forum, the Arctic Council, the Arctic University and the Association of Small Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East. They also prioritize the Northern reindeer-breeding issues.