English translation from the official periodical of RAIPON “Мир коренных народов живая арктика” (Indigenous Peoples’ World Living Arctic) No. 6-7, 2001


of the Minority Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East of the Russian Federation

We, the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East of the Russian Federation,

believe that:

The Air, the Land and Water are blessed,

Nature is the source of life,

Man is but a drop in the whirlpool of life,

The river of time is but a reflection of the past, present, and future and that how our ancestors lived in the past is how we now live and how our offspring will live in the future;

know that:

Man is a part of nature and bears responsibility for protecting the diversity of the environment;

Our home is the tundra, the taiga, the steppe and the mountains bequeathed to us by our ancestors, these are great, powerful, harsh, kind and generous manifestations but defenseless in the face of technical progress;

Use of knowledge can bring not only perfection and happiness but can cause pain and inflict injury;

Thoughtless work of human hands is capable of polluting and poisoning the air, the land, and the water, of destroying the living and of killing both large and small;

Economic growth, expanding wealth and assets for the few do not always improve life and prosperity for the majority;

Social, economic, and environmental policies of those now in power:

Our way of life, based on time-honoured experience of communal, social organization, has been created from the original cultures and beliefs of our ancestors and is the one, true way of maintatining life and sustainable development;

No one, neither society nor civilization, will ever solve our problems and only we, and the good will of the government, are capable of accomplishing this task;

desire that:

Everything that we believe, everything that we know and all that we desire must serve as the basis for advancing our traditional way of life.

We speak of development and not simply of “preservation” or “government protection,” emphasizing our desire to take part ourselves in the process of sustainably developing the North, our government and the world in general, using and improving on the accumulated wisdom of our ancestors.

Only in harmony with nature will humanity find a way out of its current crisis. We, the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia, and Far East of the Russian Federation, know this path!

Adopted at the IV Congress of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East, Moscow, 13 April 2001