Traditional Way of Living for Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North As the Basis for the Ethnos Preservation

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 17:40
Oral Presentation
Zhanna ONZIMBA LENYUNGO, RUDN University, Russian Federation
Indigenous peoples of the North are peoples who live in the territories of their ancestors traditional settlement and preserve their traditional way of living, husbandry and crafts. The traditional way of living for the indigenous peoples of the North is based on traditional land use — a historically established way for life support, based on their ancestorial historical experience in natural resources exploitation.

Recently, the problems of indigenous peoples of the North have been related to the realization of the indigenous low-numbered peoples' basic right to own and use their land. Its acquisition is often antagonized, which is not only due to ignorance of these peoples' specifics, but also their lands rich in natural resources. The special importance of the land issue is currently connected with the modern Russia realities: privatization, land leasing and private property rights. Without proper safeguards, indigenous peoples are being squeezed out of the occupied territories and their ability to use natural resources has been reduced. Many norms of the current legislation aimed at ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples are declarative and they do not provide for a legal possibility of granting lands to indigenous peoples for gratis use in places of their traditional habitation.

The indigenous peoples ancestral lands should be recognized and remain not least because the land for them basis in their life activity. Without land, indigenous peoples are doomed to disappear or, at best, lose their distinctive culture.

Traditional natural resources exploitation should remain for the indigenous peoples of the North the material basis of their traditional culture and way of living preservation. Indigenous peoples' integration in modern society should be based on their special legal status and should be implemented primarily on the basis of not dominant but traditional society values, thus creating conditions for their ethnic identity preservation.