International Public Fund for Support to Social
and Economic Development of the Northern Indigenous Peoples
Stanislav I. Dorzhinkevich
117415 Moskva, pr. Vernadskogo 37, build. 2, office 527
phone/fax: +1-(095) 181 9757, 938 9534,
The International Public Fund for Support to Social and Economic Development of the Northern Indigenous Peoples was established in accordance with the Decree of the Russian Government No. 1099 of 13 Sept. 1996 as a mechanism for raising public funding for the Federal programme "Economic and Social Development of the Northern Indigenous Peoples towards the Year 2000". It was registered at the Russian Ministry of Justice on 22 May 1998.
The Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East is the founder of the Fund and has 50% of the votes in the Fund's board.
The aim of the Fund is to support efforts to establish a basis for the Northern Peoples' self-development and self-determination in their residence areas by protecting the regions' natural resources and by rebuilding traditional subsistence patterns under the modern economic conditions.
The main tasks of the Fund are to:
- organise mechanisms to attract public funding to finance investments and complex projects under the Federal programme "Economic and Social Development of the Northern Indigenous Peoples towards the Year 2000" and other projects or beneficial measures for the indigenous minorities of the North;
- participate in establishing an infrastructure which would support small business development in the residence areas of the Northern indigenous peoples;
- investigate the market for Northern products and work out measures to promote these products to the domestic and foreign market;
- participate in establishing an infrastructure for northern and ethnic tourism;
- support the exchange of information between indigenous enterprises, support regional organisations and indigenous comunities in their negotiations with various companies and organisations which exploit natural resources in the indigenous residence areas, especially with respect to environmental protection and to the socio-economic development of indigenous peoples;
- carry out beneficial measures;
- carry out measures to avoid and eliminate negative consequences of exceptional situations in the northern indigenous residence areas.
At the present time the activity of the Fund is directed towards cooperation with clan councils and other indigenous institutions in order to determine priority projects, to work out business plans, to attract funding and to train personnel.
Project "Technology for socio-economic development"
By implementing the Technology project the Fund is safeguarding its aim to establish conditions for the preservation and development of the Northern indigenous peoples as ethnic groups, based upon these peoples' traditional ways of subsistence in their own residence areas. "Technology for socio-economic development" envisages measures resulting in a transition from the present socio-economic level to a more desirable one, which may be shaped by taking into account the results of a sociological investigation. The Technology project is meant to secure the balancing of interests of the population, various authority levels and enterprises.
The project will be based on the assumption that the indigenous people have the right to make their own decisions with respect to:
- pursuing a traditional subsistence mode (a closed system with limited contacts with the non-indigenous population) or orienting themselves towards a market economy (a very open system);
- pursuing a mixed or traditional economy for which special education is needed (processing, sale, commodity exchange, transport, etc.);
- receiving special education for other trades (health service, education, civil service, etc.).
It is a priority task to develop, produce, and promote a Northern product. The Northern product must gain its share on the market and maintain its position despite harsh competition. While solving these problems, one has to think along the following lines:
- the market - investigating the market, choosing a Northern product (or service), working out a marketing strategy and tactics to control changes on the market;
- the product - organising the production of the Northern product (or service) and its position in the system of commodity exchange.
The role of small factories for the production is obvious, and not only with respect to the simple exchange of raw materials, which the indigenous population barters for weapons, powder, salt, etc. Such a factory must, besides storage and refrigerating space, also possess modern facilities for processing traditional products and the Northern product, as well as means for transportation and communication.
The path of socio-economic reform has to be walked by each people, stimulated by its leaders (whether we talk about a tribe, village, community or region). It is also important to understand that the individuals, the families, the peoples have to solve their own problems. Everyone has to walk the road by himself. This is conditional for the realisation of any self-development or self-determination.