English translation from the official periodical of RAIPON “Мир коренных народов живая арктика” (Indigenous Peoples’ World Living Arctic) No. 4, 2000
Activity of the Association of the Indigenous Peoples in the Khabarovskiy Kray
G.N. Volkova, President, Khabarovskiy Kray branch of RAIPON
The regional non-governmental organisation, the Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the Khabarovskiy Kray (RAIPON), was registered at Khabarovskiy Kray’s Regional Authority Justice Department on 11 September 1992, with certificate of registration № 98. The new charter is registered in Department of Justice of the Khabarovskiy Kray, certificate № 98, 30 June 1999.
The association was created in 1990 with the aim to consolidate the indigenous minorities of the Khabarovskiy Kray, to implement and protect indigenous rights and interests, to address problems of socio-economic and cultural development of these indigenous peoples, to preserve and to revive the traditional way of life, to promote ethnic awareness, to increase the quality of indigenous life, to protect the environment in the areas traditionally inhabited by indigenous people in the Khabarovskiy Kray, and to revive and to develop traditional indigenous crafts, culture, and languages.
At present, the association has 17 regional branches and legal entities in 15 regions, with total membership of about ten thousand people.
In the first half of the year 2000, the RAIPON branch of the Khabarovskiy Kray has established three centres:
1. A youth centre with the following areas of activity: environmental protection, public health, culture, training, and legal questions. The centre is managed by T.V. Korzh.
Aims of the centre:
- Uniting young people in the region;
- Legal training of the indigenous northern peoples;
- Raising ethnic awareness;
- To attract attention to the problems of the indigenous northern minorities;
- Active participation in socio-economic and cultural development of the indigenous northern minorities.
The centre has a charter and an action plan for 2000-2001 which includes workshops on the above areas. In addition, the centre produces an information newsletter and has set up a library.
2. An information and legal centre (to be financed by the Rockfeller Foundation through Pacific Environment and Resources Centre). The centre is managed by Ms G.M.Volkova; the centre’s legal advisor is Mr D.A. Radchenko; and the information officer is Ms T.V. Korzh.
Aims and tasks of the centre:
- Protection of legal rights and interests of the indigenous peoples in the Khabarovskiy Kray, including through courts of law;
- Rendering legal aid to the indigenous people of the North;
- Training youth and drawing their attention to the problems of northern indigenous peoples;
- Creation of a database on the relevant legislation;
- Production and distribution of newsletters and other information materials to the federal and regional governmental agencies and NGOs;
- Legal initiatives to the governmental agencies on different social issues;
- Public initiatives on various issues;
- A databank on the indigenous legislation of the Far East;
- Publication of legal texts of the Far East on the indigenous peoples of the North;
- Youth workshops on legal issues;
- Workshops, conferences, and round tables with the indigenous peoples of the North and their associations;
- Assistance in training of indigenous staff (lawyers);
- Establishment of contacts with international, federal, regional, and ethnic NGOs;
- Consolidation of scientists, experts, representatives of governmental agencies and Northern minorities in order to initiate a decision-making process for the problems of the indigenous people of the North;
- Assistance to legal education of the Northern indigenous peoples.
The Centre provides a lawyer for consultations; the first newsletter is ready for publication; and the second legal textbook on indigenous affairs has been completed.
3. A centre on preservation of culture of the indigenous peoples of the North. The centre is managed by Mr N.E. Kimonko.
Aims of the centre:
- A database on cultural issues;
- Cultural events;
- Promotion of decision-making with respect to the indigenous culture.
A newsletter on the indigenous craftsmen has been produced and was sent to Germany with an expert from the Far Eastern Art Museum. RAIPON has organised two exhibitions of decorative and applied art at two international conferences. A project proposal on the sale of ethnic crafts was prepared and directed to WWF.
A project to establish a centre for traditional medicine is being prepared. The data collection started in May 2000.
In February 2000, the Khabarovskiy Kray’s RAIPON branch and the central office of RAIPON conducted an international workshop-- "Sustainable development of the indigenous peoples of the North in the Amur area, the Khabarovskiy and Primorskiy krays with respect to traditional use of natural resources". The workshop was financed by the Canadian Embassy through IPS of the Arctic Council.
In May 2000, RAIPON established an Advisory Council on sustainable development of the indigenous peoples of the North with respect to the traditional use of natural resources. Leading experts and lawyers of the Far East are members of the council. Mr I.B.Bogdan, a lawyer and a director for the Institute of Environmental Law, is the head of the council. The council analyses the socio-economic situation of the indigenous people, conducts feasibility studies and makes assessments of indigenous people’s economic and cultural development. It also focuses on environmental protection of indigenous territories in order to promote traditional ways of life and assist sustainable development of the indigenous people. The council is an NGO and a consultative body to the Khabarovskiy Kray branch of RAIPON.
Three meetings were held. The charter of the council, an action plan for the first half year of its activity and RAIPON's applications to the governmental agencies were produced.
The Khabarovskiy Kray branch of RAIPON has developed and initiated a legislative initiative in the administration of the Khabarovskiy Kray and the Regional Duma through a bill 'On Guarantees to the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the Khabarovskiy Kray'. An inquiry (June 2000) directed to the Regional Prosecutor's Office regarding implementation of the law "On territories of traditional use of natural resources by the indigenous peoples of the Khabarovskiy Kray" was initiated in order to inspect its compliance with the federal legislation. An inquiry on the Law "On hunting practices in the Khabarovskiy Kray" is being produced. Amendments to the civil code regarding use of forests in the Khabarovskiy Kray and to the law "On territories of traditional use of natural resources by the indigenous peoples of the Khabarovskiy Kray" with regard to tax incentives for ethnic enterprises and indigenous communities are being prepared. A project proposal on the concept of an ethnic policy for the indigenous peoples of the Khabarovskiy Kray and on the agreements with governmental authorities of the Khabarovskiy Kray and with the Legislative Assembly were directed to the governmental authorities; they rejected the proposal. Proposal co-ordinators and Advisory Council members did not agree to the grounds for the rejections. The project proposal has been submitted to the relevant authorities again in July 2000. The regional Legislative Assembly is ready to approve the project proposals.
Round tables were proposed with the regional heads of RAIPON, the representatives of the Ministry for Natural Resources, the Ministry of Taxation, and Ministry for Economy and Trade in May 2000.
RAIPON proposed a project on concerning contamination of the Amur river. The project was directed to Germany.
A project proposal for an Advisory Board for the preservation of indigenous culture in the Khabarovskiy Kray was prepared by RAIPON. The scientists, art experts, archaeologists, and anthropologists will become members of the board, under the direction of Professor P.Ja.Gontmaher, PhD (history), the author of the series "The People of the Far East ".
The Khabarovskiy Kray branch of RAIPON participates in international, regional, and local events pertaining to the indigenous peoples of the North.