|BULLETIN # 33|
XV group of interns
TABLE OF CONTENTS
and Indigenous Cultures|
Kola Saami (the Youth)
The Present Situation At The Mountainous Altai
|Education and Indigenous Cultures||
last February in city of Dudinka, Taimyr Autonomous Region, a conference
on education concentrated mainly on “ethnic component” as one of the
central ingredients of the education for the indigenous peoples. What is
it the “ethnic component”? Why is it needed?
put it simply, it is an integration of ethno-cultural characteristics
intrinsic for a particular people into the preschool and school education.
Using examples and images from the everyday life a teacher can make the
subject easier accessible for the indigenous children. Per example – a
hunter can walk that many meters per minute. How many meters per minute he
can made on ski or on a reindeer? The kids can benefit tremendously if
experienced hunters, fishermen, reindeer herders, artists, artisans,
writers etc visit the classes and discuss the particular aspects of their
conference stressed the alarming lose of the native culture and language
by the indigenous peoples of the region. It was agreed that, in order to
reverse the process, indigenous peoples must start with introducing the
ethnic cultures into everyday experiences of their children. The obvious
is the dire need to:
develop a teaching methodology, textbooks and notebooks in
publish literature, science and fiction, fairytales and history in
revive the everyday use of indigenous languages in family and
kindergartens and schools;
the most obvious benefits, the children will be able, through the
languages, to learn and understand the very heart of the indigenous
culture of Taimyr, to feel themselves to be an integral part of the
Nature. Only then will they be able to realize fully their spiritual,
ethical, intellectual and physical potentials. Only then a our children
will be able to be proud of our heritage when they know it well. It is a
painstakingly slow and difficult process, but there is no other way. The
loss of indigenous languages is the loss of an ancient knowledge in
medicine, geography, environmental management, religion and art. It is
irrecoverable loss for the entire human family.
last year saw many radical changes in the life of indigenous youth of the
Russian Federation. The main is creation of the Indigenous Youth Union of
the Russian Federation (Council of Equals is its governing body). I spoke
with many people in my home community of Lovozero and with our leaders –
Mr. Alexander Kobelev, Ms. Lidia Rakhmanina (Saami representative at the
Council of Equals) and Ms/. Alexandra Antonov. There are many ideas and
plans, some are being implemented, and some are being developed. While we
are full of energy – we got hope.
there are many problems as well. Most of them stemmed from the
indifference of the local administration to the Saami issues.
not everyone is indifferent. Mr. Zigfred Giskiterde, Head of the Saami
Christian Mission of Norway in Russia promised help from his organization
to the Saami Student Society in St. Petersburg in setting up Saami
languageclasses, publishing a small newspaper, etc.
is sad that our administration officials are less understanding than the
foreigners. But we are not losing hope.
The Present Situation At The Mountainous Altai
in-between Russia, China. Mongolia and Kazakhstan is my home - the
Mountainous Altai. Its place on the map is such that everybody is afraid
that if the people’s life gets harder somebody might “play the ethnic
card”. It gets to a level of paranoia during various election campaigns.
God forbid a candidate from an indigenous people tries to run for an
office. He or she is immediately accused in “chauvinism”,
“nationalism” and “separatism”. As the result not a single
indigenous person was elected to the State Duma since the fall of the
USSR. The public is being brainwashed that election of an indigenous MP
will inevitably lead to the interethnic conflict. Thus, the complicated
situation in the Altai republic is being made even more difficult by the
intentional spreading of a myth about the “Altai nationalists using the
right of self-determination to secede from the Russian Federation”.
at the indigenous people the policy of ethnic discrimination of the Altai
republic government might lead to the interethnic tensions. 30% of the
republic’s 203 148 people are us – the indigenous people. And we have
our constitutional rights to be represented on all levels and in all
institutions of the government. Instead, we are being blocked every way
XIX and XX centuries Altai was used only as a source of natural resources.
Extensive cutting of ancient taiga lead to irrevocable loss of natural
habitat and hunting and fishing grounds for the Altai people.
deforestation, rivers’ disappearance and consequential environmental
changes during the last 50 years are complimented by the negative effect
of the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing ground and the Boikonur space field.
The leftovers of the first boost-rockets are literally falling on the
heads of our people. According to Dr. Vladimir Lupandin from the
Independent Center of Environmental Testing (Moscow) the amount of Heptil
in the ground is 0.1 mg per 1 sq m and in the growth is 0.3mg per 1 cub m.
the direct result the death rate in the republic is increasing
dramatically. In 1999 the % brake down of the causes of death was the
circulatory ailments – 43.3%;
various accidents – 21.9%;
cancer related – 12.3%;
respiratory ailments – 9%.
General increase in the death rate per 1000 people is 12%. The stillbirth among indigenous people is 4.2% per 1000 newborn.