English translation from the official periodical of RAIPON “Мир коренных народов живая арктика” (Indigenous Peoples’ World Living Arctic) No. 9-10, 2002

First Congress of Reindeer Breeders in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Maria Sesey

The First Congress of Reindeer Breeders of the Nenets Autonomous Okrug was convened in Naryan-Mar on March 29, 2002. The necessity of convening a forum of the area’s reindeer breeders and herders was emphasized in the resolution of the Sixth Congress of the social movement “Association of the Nenets People – Yasavey” in March 2001. The Committee for the Affairs of the Peoples of the North, the Department of Agriculture of the Nenets AO and the Association “Yasavey” initiated the event.

Many issues were discussed at the Congress; many more are still to be jointly sorted out by reindeer herders and all those the fate of this sector of economy depends on. While for some people reindeer herding and breeding is just one of the branches of agriculture, it is primarily a way of life for indigenous inhabitants of the Tundra-Nenets or Komi reindeer breeders. As a native of the Nenets AO, I can hardly stay away from these problems. I would like to support A.I. Vyucheyskiy’s saying: “Reindeer breeding should become the visiting card, the image of the area”.

Summing up the outcome of the First Congress of Reindeer Breeders in the Nenets AO its delegates adopted the Congress Resolution deciding to set up a Union of NAO Reindeer Breeders and convene the next congress of reindeer breeders in mid-March 2003.