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

Resolution of the IV Congress of the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East of the Russian Federation

MOSCOW, 13 April 2001

We, the delegates to the IV Congress of the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East, representing 40 indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation, with account to the presentations by the delegates and the participants of the Congress on the socio-economic situation and the legal status of our peoples,

observe, that the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the governmental agencies and the local authorities of the Russian Federation, the non-governmental organisations have achieved certain results in ensuring the sustainable social, economic, ethnic and cultural developments of the Northern peoples;

approve the aspirations of the Russian and the foreign NGOs in assistance to RAIPON;

in the same time we believe that the governmental agencies should act urgently to overcome the negative effects of the socio-economic and the political processes listed below since these effects result in the degradation of the traditional life style and land use and pose a threat to the existence of the Northern indigenous peoples:

Having discussed and analysed the present situation, we, the representatives of the indigenous peoples of the North, address the President of the Russian Federation, to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, to the Government of the Russian Federation, to the regional governmental agencies and law-makers, the indigenous organisations, the intra- and the non-governmental organisations, and the global community with an appeal to take on urgent actions in support of the preservation and development of the indigenous peoples of Russia.

To the President of the Russian Federation

1.Ensure protection of the indigenous rights to the land and the natural resources in the indigenous territories where the indigenous peoples maintain the traditional economy according to recognised norms of the international law, the international agreements and the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Do not let our land become an object in business transactions, do not let it become an object for the predatory exploitation of the natural resources.

2. Submit to the National Security Council a proposal to consider the issue on “Critical state of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East”.

3. Establish an Institute of Ombudsman on the indigenous peoples’ rights

4. Initiate ratification of the Convention of International Labour Organisation №169 of 1989 'On the indigenous and tribal peoples' by the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

5. Recommend the Presidential Inspections in the North-Western, the Ural, the Siberian and the Far East Federal Okrugs to establish consultative expert councils on the indigenous affairs. The indigenous organisations should be represented in these councils.

6. Do not let nuclear waste enter the indigenous territories of the North

To the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

1. Ratify the Convention 169 of the International Labour Organisation of 1989 'On the indigenous and tribal peoples'.

2. Speed up the development and adoption of federal laws and other regulation on the most important issues for the indigenous population of the North in the areas of:

3. Ensure the indigenous rights in the Russian laws on land, that is to provide individuals, families, communities, enterprises and organisations of the indigenous North an inalienable right to a permanent and a free use of the indigenous land, the plant and the animal worlds in order to preserve the traditional economy and to compensate the damage to the owners when the land is taken away for industrial activity by companies in any form of ownership;

4. Establish a consultative expert council on indigenous affairs at the office of the Chairman of the State Duma. The leaders of indigenous organisations and regional MPs shall become members of this Council.

5. Determine an indigenous quota in the law-making and the executive bodies at the federal, regional and local levels.

6. Following the Russian Constitution and the federal laws on the indigenous rights, introduce amendments to the appropriate federal and regional legislations, including:

7. Carry out parliamentary hearings on indigenous quotas for fishing and other bioresources used by the indigenous people of the North as their traditional products and are the base to their life support systems.

To the Government of the Russian Federation

1. Develop and adopt a concept for a governmental ethnic policy towards the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East.

2. Consider the possibility of establishing a special executive authority aimed at the solution of the problems of indigenous peoples of the North.

3. Speed up the development of federal laws and other regulation of the issues vitally important to the peoples of the North, in the following areas:

4. Adopt the Federal Programme 'The economic and social development of the indigenous peoples of the North till 2011' taking into account the comments by the indigenous organisations. The programme shall have a built-in mechanism of annual corrections for volumes and objects of funding in order to use the budgetary means to an ear-marked support to the Northern peoples, and first of all to rescue the disappearing ethnoses, instead of covering up the holes in the regional budgets of the Northern administrations. The programme staff shall be employed with participation of RAIPON.

5. Implement the federal law 'On guarantees to indigenous peoples’ rights'. To do this, an Act on the indigenous Ombudsman shall be adopted.

6. Make amendments to the RF Governmental Decree No.7 of January 5, 2001, article 2, on the optional manufacturing an additional blank for passports with the ethnical identification if desired by the citizens. The form of this blank is to be determined by the respective executive bodies of the regional authorities and the Ministry for Internal Affairs on agreement with the Heraldic Council under the RF President. 

7. Develop effective implementation tools to the 'Concept of governmental support to economic and social development of the Northern regions' adopted by the Governmental Act №198 of March 7, 2000.

8. Develop and adopt a Legal Statute for traditional land use by the indigenous peoples of the North.

9. Develop and adopt an Act on lease of the indigenous lands by the indigenous peoples of the North to the users of subsoils for industrial activities on the basis of compensatory agreements. The Act shall determine obligatory contributions by the industrial companies engaged in development of subsoils for the damage incurred to the indigenous lands and for the profits losses by the traditional economies of the North.

10. Restore activities of the National Organising Committee for the International Decade of the Indigenous Peoples; develop and adopt an Action plan till 2005.

11. Introduce annual governmental reviews of the national Report on the indigenous affairs in the Russian Federation. Review the Report 'On implementation of recommendations by the National Congress 'The indigenous peoples of Russia at the threshold of the XXI century: problems, prospectives, priorities' (Moscow, December 10-12, 1999). Implement urgent actions following the recommendations by the Congress.

12. Recommend interested executive authorities to consider the proposal of the RAIPON to organize in March 2004 a World Conference of Indigenous Peoples in Moscow.

13. Introduce the annual statistical reporting of socio-economic development of the urban and rural indigenous population.

14. In order to maintain the development of languages, education, culture and science of the indigenous people, develop and adopt a Governmental programme on an on-going education for the indigenous people, and a programme for preservation, revival and development of the indigenous culture providing establishment of ethno-cultural centres in the indigenous territories.

15. Discuss the prolongation of registration and accounting of the indigenous unemployed who live in remote settlements.

16. Develop additions to the federal law 'On governmental environmental assessment' in order to provide indigenous participation in the governmental environmental assessments of industrial projects on indigenous territories, and in the licensing process for development of new mineral deposits in indigenous territories.

17. Develop legal norms to assess natural resources, to protect biodiversity, to preserve the sacred sites of the northern indigenous peoples in the indigenous territories.

To the Office of Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation

Carry out an on-going control of implementation of the federal legislation on the indigenous rights including federal laws:

'On guarantees to indigenous peoples’ rights',

'On general principles for establishing indigenous communities',

'On territories of a traditional land use by the indigenous peoples'

and other federal, regional and local legislation that regulates indigenous rights.

To the regional governmental agencies of the Russian Federation

1. Observe national and international norms on indigenous rights in the regional law making.

2. Following the Russian Constitution, develop a protection mechanism of a 'traditional environment and of a traditional lifestyle for small ethnic communities' as parts of the Northern indigenous people who live in various administrative regions of the Russian Federation. You have to acknowledge that the nature is a basis for the very existence of the indigenous people, while their culture creates a basis for transition to the sustainable development in the Arctic region.

3. Develop implementation tools for the indigenous rights on participation in the programmes of economic development, in governmental and non-governmental environmental and ethno-environmental assessments with regards to any projects in the indigenous territories, and to the production sharing agreements.

4. Carry out the inventory assessment of the indigenous territories, establish cadastres of the natural and cultural resources (heritage) in order to estimate their environmental and demographic capacities for traditional economy, traditional land use and rational use of these resources (heritage).

5. By legal and practical means ensure preservations of the places sacred to the peoples of the North.

6. Take on action in the cultural and educational field towards recognition of the northern indigenous cultural and natural heritage, the traditional knowledge and the practice of the land use.

7. Develop and carry out the regional and interregional programmes on preservation and maintenance of the traditional land use, of the indigenous languages, the indigenous culture. Support the self-government according to the customs and the traditions of the peoples of the North.

To the inter-governmental international organizations

1. Recommend initiating an establishment of the Second International Decade on Indigenous Peoples in 2005-2014 by the United Nations.

2. Request European Union to assist in the improvement of the present situation of the indigenous peoples in Russia.

3. Express the gratitude to the Arctic Council for the assistance in the solution of the problems of the Arctic indigenous peoples and appeal to further develop the cooperation with the indigenous peoples in the circumpolar region.

To Russian and international non-governmental organizations

Having acknowledged that the culture, the traditional way of life, the spiritual and natural heritage of the Northern indigenous peoples are parts of the global cultural and biological diversity, taking into account the high vulnerability of indigenous cultures in globalisation, and taking into account the critical socio-economic situation experienced by the Northern indigenous people of Russia, we appeal to the international community:

1. To support informational contacts with the indigenous organisations, to distribute through the mass media an information on the indigenous life, culture and common issues, as well on projects aimed at the solution of their problems.

2. To render the indigenous peoples  assistance in development and realisation of the Russian and international non-profit projects in the fields of indigenous culture, health, education, self governance, environmental protection and improvement of the socio-economic situation of the indigenous people to the better.

3. To promote application of modern communication tools in order to preserve indigenous languages, culture and traditional land use, to promote exchange of experience with other indigenous peoples of the Arctic region, to propagate importance and value of the traditional culture.

4. To assist in struggle with violations of indigenous rights, with particular emphasis  on activity of the multinational corporations.

5. To observe international ethical standards and to co-ordinate any projects on indigenous territories with RAIPON and other non-governmental organisations of the indigenous peoples of the North.

To the Russian Associations of the indigenous peoples

1. To co-ordinate activities of every indigenous NGO based upon the democratic principles of RAIPON's Charter.

2. To support the elaboration of the 'Concept for development of the indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation in the XXI century'  by the Institute for Indigenous Issues, the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science, to use the Concept as an ideological basis for the indigenous movement in Russia.

3. To strengthen the democratic political system and to establish an efficient executive structure in RAIPON based on the proposal to the IV Congress of RAIPON.

4. To strengthen and to distribute RAIPON's experience on information sharing and in legal education of the Northern indigenous peoples, with particular focus to training sessions and courses, and to establishment of the regional information centres, as well as to information sharing and distribution of legal advice through the magazine 'The Indigenous People’s World - the Living Arctic' and through other publications by RAIPON.

5. To develop and to participate in development of programs on preservation and maintenance of languages and ethnic cultures, traditional and neotraditional economies, training and public health of the Northern indigenous peoples.

6. To strengthen the constructive interaction between RAIPON, governmental agencies and law-makers on protection of the indigenous rights at the federal level and in traditional land use areas.

7. To intensify the interaction between RAIPON and national as well as the international NGOs in order to support development projects for indigenous organisations and communities.

8. To establish cadastres on the cultural and the natural heritage of the Northern peoples, to take an active part in creation of the cadastres for the territories of traditional land use, and to take part in drafting the legal regulation for the cadastres.

9. To develop action plans and programmes on the basis of the constructive suggestions made by the delegates and the participants to the IV Congress of RAIPON.

Adopted by direct voting at the Congress of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East in Moscow on 13 April 2001