English translation from the official periodical of RAIPON “Мир коренных народов - живая арктика” (Indigenous Peoples’ World - Living Arctic) No. 14, 2004
Opinion of a Kamchatkan representative about the problem of TTNUs
Report on the new draft federal law on TTNUs to the roundtable of the Federation Council’s Committee on Northern and Minority Affairs
Evgeniy Slobodchikov, Member of the Committee on Liaison and Interaction of the Kamchatkan Region and KAO, the Council of Peoples’ Deputies of the Kamchatkan Region, and the Association of Indigenous Peoples, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy
Esteemed participants of the roundtable!
Less than two years have passed since the adoption of Federal law # 49-FZ on Territories of Traditional Nature Use (TTNU) on
A new draft proposal for the Federal law on TTNUs, the variant of the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade, dated
The law on TTNUs has no mechanism for implementation since it envisages the adoption of a legally binding ordinance in the form of an enactment issued by the RF Government approving the statute of Territories of Traditional Nature Use.
So, since there is no statute it is out of the question to establish any TTNU.
Even if regional authorities venture to establish TTNUs, such actions are at variance with federal laws. The Governor of the Koryak Autonomous Okrug (KAO) organised the “Tkhsanom” TTNU in the Tigilskiy District of the KAO by his Enactment # 317 dated 2 December 1998, but this enactment was revoked following the protest of the procurator’s office on the basis of the fact that lands of federal jurisdiction had been included in the Territory.
The “Tkhsanom” TTNU, as a matter of fact, is the first harbinger in
Let us imagine for a moment the following situation. A small native village in the north of
The establishment of a TTNU would make it possible to carry out traditional subsistence activities on traditional territories as an escape from the grave economic situation. Dozens of communities, whose territorial unions have been formed, but without the establishment of a TTNU they will exist on paper only.
Only two out of seven districts of the Kamchatkan Region (without KAO) were included in the “List of Districts Inhabited by Small-numbered Peoples of the North” approved by the RF Government’s Enactment # 22 of
Everything looks absolutely different in today’s reality. We are becoming social outcasts on our own land. It is appropriate to raise the question about discrimination of indigenous peoples. Analyzing Russian legislation on indigenous peoples one can come to the conclusion that it is unsystematic, contradictory and declaratory in form.
While the Association of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East, our head organisation, has carried out a sizable effort to realise the provisions of the federal law on TTNUs, the RF Ministry of Economic Development has ventured to elaborate a new version of the federal law “On Territories of Traditional Nature Use of Small-numbered Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East of the RF”, thus, in fact, suspending the statute in force.
At present, the work is underway (D.N. Kozak’s Commission) to differentiate the subjects of control and authority between the bodies of federal and regional state as well as the bodies of local self-governance. This process may have a negative impact on the establishment of TTNUs. The introduction of different forms and types of public land property, including the potential TTNU, would pave the way to stockpiling formidable challenges.
Bearing in mind the great desire of indigenous peoples of the Kamchatkan Region and the KAO to set up TTNUs, we propose to hold potential territories of traditional nature use in reserve of public indigenous peoples’ associations, federal and regional bodies of state power, the bodies of local self-governance as well as to take them into account while delimiting the land property rights and carrying out land use measures.
It should be pointed out that the unwillingness of the Kamchatkan regional administration to establish TTNUs is explained by the fear of losing control over certain territories.
I have a written application addressed by the head of the Bystrinskiy District’s municipal unit to the Council of People’s Deputies of the Kamchatkan Region. Its bottom line is that indigenous people residing in the Bystrinskiy District, engaged in economic activities in their primordial lands, have found themselves within the borders of major industrial development in areas assigned to legal entities, thus being deprived of their right to hunt – about the only method of their survival, if anything at all.
The confrontation with the dominating population is felt quite acutely.
The Kamchatkan regional administration is abolishing fishing zones, although it is known well that traditional nature use, without making people accustomed with the achievements of scientific and technological progress, economically is able to provide only a very low living standard.
The downright counteraction of the extractive companies often manipulating the opinion of the majority of population is a fact of life.
With the advent of the new administration of the Kamchatkan Region the local Itelmen artel (team) “Tarya” was deprived of its fishing zones; it is being forced out from the assigned traditional hunting areas. They are driven out forcibly from the places of traditional nature use. These examples are not the only ones.
In September, hearings took place in
We are willing to persuade the RF Government to revise its attitude towards indigenous peoples and to put aside its apprehension of strengthening their role concerning the rights of the Northern indigenous peoples. We object to the new version of the draft law on TTNUs, the variant of the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade dated 11 November 2003, and support the conclusion of RAIPON about basically accepting the Federal draft law “On Entering Amendments and Supplements to Federal Law # 49-FZ dated 7 May ‘On Territories of Traditional Nature …’”, submitted to the RF Government on 28 February 2003 by the head of the RF President’s administration. We also support the variant of the draft law prepared by RAIPON and propose to introduce corresponding amendments to the RF Land Code and the Federal Law “On the RF Agricultural Land Turnover”, also including reindeer pastures, as well as to elaborate corresponding enforceable enactments with regard to the system of establishment of TTNUs.