Wednesday, 29th June 2022

Russia’s Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs (FAEA) and Norilsk Nickel signed an agreement on interaction and cooperation while providing support to the indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North (ISNPN).
Igor Barinov, Head of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs noted the timeliness of the event since the development of the Arctic is becoming one of the priorities for the state. “It is particularly important that during the industrial development of the Russian North we do not forget about the people who originally live here, who lead a traditional way of life. This agreement should strike a balance between industrial development and preservation of the unique nature of the Russian North and the way of life of the indigenous peoples,” he said. “It should lead people to have a clear choice: to live the lifestyle of their ancestors, but at the same time have access to medicine, education and other things, or to change their destiny by getting an education and devoting themselves to another field of activity.”
Andrey Grachev, Vice President of Norilsk Nickel recalled the start of eight major events, which already occurred in 2021, as part of the company's support given to the indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North. According to the top manager, two billion rubles have been allocated to this program planned for five years.
Grigory Dyukarev, Chairman of the Taimyr Indigenous Peoples' Association said that this agreement envisages, among other things, the construction of a House of Culture in the village of Kheta, celebration of national-ethnic holidays, and subsidies for air travel. “This program embraces the entire Taimyr Peninsular. Add to this the introduction of a separate budget line to finance the ethnological examination of the factors that ensure sustainable development of indigenous peoples. We are already negotiating with the company to continue scientific research of ethnic groups to cover not only the western part, but also the eastern part of Taimyr. There are also environmental measures to be taken, which include the construction of fish factories and regular monitoring of the environment,” said Grigory Dyukarev. “The indigenous peoples are pinning their hopes on the new agreement signed today, as their representatives will be able to fully participate in the dialogue,” the chairman of the association added.
The Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs and Norilsk Nickel agree that all decisions to support the development of indigenous peoples should be made with the direct participation of community representatives, Igor Barinov stressed. “Only in this case they will be effective, only then they will be targeted, and people will feel the support from the company. We are ready to get involved in this work coordinating our activities together with the regional authorities, together with the company and representatives of the indigenous peoples of the North, so that people feel the changes in their daily life,” he said.
The vice-president of Norilsk Nickel announced the creation of the Coordination Council of ISNPN Communities under the head of the company's Polar Division. “We also think that the regional authorities (Krasnoyarsk Territory) will respond to our proposal. After the formation of the council, a program of interaction will be drawn up,” Andrey Grachev said.


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