5 years ago, in July of 1996, the first group of L’auravetl’an Indigenous Information Center interns met the first director of the center for the first time to begin their first day of the internship at the first in the world’s history indigenous information center. It was the first time for everybody involved and, since there was nobody to learn from, everything needed to be invented from the scratch.

Today, 5 years later, L'auravetl'an Indigenous Information Center still the only organization in the world which is ran on equal basis by representatives of several indigenous peoples of the RF and has exclusively indigenous people working there. L'auravetl'an is an organization that does not claim to represent various indigenous peoples politically (we believe every people has irrefutable right and responsibility to do it itself) and does not pretend to have all the answers. L'auravetl'an main goal is facilitation of information and insofar it provides absolutely equal opportunities to a people with population of 300 000 as to a nation of 900 people.

Today, 3 directors, 18 groups of interns and 110 interns later, we can definitely say that L'auravetl'an is indeed a collective creation. It is the result of the thoughts, ideas, commitment, courage, sacrifices, hopes and dreams of not only the center’s staff and interns, but of their communities, elders and leaders, who select and send their best for the internship. It is the result of kindness and support of their wives and husbands, children and parents, grandparents and grandchildren who wait long three months for the interns to come back home. They wait because they believe that the internship will help their loved ones to be even more needed and more useful to their people.

L’auravetl’an is also a result of the attention and effort of all those people at the NGOs, governmental and intergovernmental organizations, (Russian and foreign) who find time within their very busy schedule to meet with the interns, to inform them about their organizations and their work as well as to receive from them information about their communities and peoples.  

Invaluable contribution in making L’auravetl’an possible belongs to those people and organizations who during these 5 years have been supporting the center financially. Their help have been making it possible for the representatives of the remote indigenous communities to come to Moscow, to stay here for 3 months and to get all the invaluable information and knowledge.

And we must remember that many things that we are taking for granted now became possible in Russia largely due to the vision and efforts of such state officials and civil servants as Vladimir E. Seriakov, Ramazan G. Abdulatipov, Pawel Kh. Zaidfudim, Bair E. Zhamsuev M.P., Valentin I. Nikitin M.P., Valentin A. Vlasov, Ms. Valentina N. Pivnenko M.P., Vladimir V. Gomon, Grigory M. Oinvid M.P., Valery P. Markov M.P., K.A. Betchildey M.P. and many of their colleagues.  

But nothing would be possible and L’auravetl’an itself would not even exist if it were not for the commitment and courage of those first indigenous brothers and sisters who more than 10 years ago were the first to voice their concerns for the indigenous rights. They first began to look for the information to promote and protect those rights. We all, present leaders included, owe it all to Vladimir Tynarakhtyrgin and  Lorino Chukchi Council of Elders, to Ms. Valentina V. Baum and the Joint Council of Elders of the Chukchi district,  Ms. Olga D. Tumnetugve and the Council of Elders of the Chukchi region, Ms. Anna D. Nutetegrine, Mr. Mikhail A. Zelensky, Ms. Maia I. Ettyryntyna, Vladimir M. Ettylen M.P., Ms. Liudmila I. Ainana, Vladimir M. San’gi, Ms. Evdokia A. Gaer, Viatcheslav A. Vyuitcheisky, Gennady A. Maimago, Andrey V. Krivoshapkin, Ms. Zoia A. Kornilova, Vladimir V. Uvatchan, Ms. Tatiana S. Gogoleva, Pawel V. Suliandziga and Ms. Zinaida I. Strogalschikova.

L’auravetl’an Indigenous Information Center is the result of common effort of many people indeed and because of that it belongs to all.

It’s Executive Director Mr. Arat V. Khidyp, Administrative Director Ms. Tatiana Kaliantagrau and the interns of the 18th group congratulate you all with the 5 year anniversary of YOUR center. And with all the best wishes and gratitude so do I,

Oleg Egorov,


Mr. Oleg Egorov, President of L'auravetl'an IIC


To be with your people is an incredible luck, 

To be useful to your people is an incredible honor…


Ms. Kara-Kys Arakchaa,
Executive Director of IIC (1996)

Ms. Galina Volkova, 
Executive Director of IIC (1997 - 1998)

Information on hopes and fears, failures and victories of indigenous peoples that live in the remotest areas of the Russian North and Siberia must be available to anyone everywhere in the world. And the grassroots communities must know what ever the governmental and non-governmental organisations are doing for, on behalf and in the name of indigenous peoples. Only this kind of the two way information flow will help in solving indigenous peoples problems.

Our L’auravetl’an Indigenous Information Centre is an unique mechanism for information sharing among indigenous peoples, and between indigenous grassroots communities and the world outside. It is great that we are doing it for 5 years already and every new day proves that we do make the difference, that we are needed.


Mr. Arat Khaidyp, Executive Director 
of IIC (1998 - present time)







The List of Our Interns see here



L’auravetl’an IIC is grateful to the Lorino Chukchi Council of Elders (Mr. Alexander Iato, Chairman) for the founding initiative and constant support. We also want to thank those who have been helping and supporting us:


-        Mr. Alexander Natarov. Because of his gallant and selfless help and masterful translations, the voices of grassroots indigenous communities of the North, Siberia and the Far East of the Russian Federation have been speaking in familiar tongues to the World outside of Russia;

-        Mr. Bernd Schutze, Ms. Beatte Grosskopff and Dr. Otmar Ruther. Because of their commitment, dedication and trust, even the poorest indigenous communities can afford to send their representatives for the internship at L’auravetl’an IIC;

-        Ms. Claudia Bussmann. Due to her unparalleled work as the Center’s liaison with the EC and the EP the European community became closer to the indigenous peoples of Russia;

-        Mr. Vladimir E. Seriakov;

-        Mr. Pawel Kh. Zaidfudim;

-        Ms. Natalia O. Tovuu and Tyva Science Organization “Yurta Mira”;

-        The Sami Council;

-        RAIPON;

-        Ms. Valentina V. Golubtchikova and the entire staff of the “Severnye Prostory” magazine;

-        UNIC Moscow, Mr. Alexander S. Gorelik, Director;

-        UNDP Russia, Mr. Frederick Lyons, Resident-Representative;

-        Ms. Olga Bogdanova, Head of PR, UNDP Russia.

We want to thank those who have been meeting with our interns regularly in order to learn more about lives in their respective communities and who have been trying to make those lives better:


-        Chief Division on Administrative Regions of the RF, Office of the President of the RF;

-        Presidential Commission on Human Rights, Office of the President of the RF;

-        Committee on Nationalities, State Duma of the RF;

-        Committee on Issues of the North and the Far East of the RF, State Duma of the RF;

-        Committee on Indigenous Peoples and Issues of the North, Siberia and Far East of the RF, Council of Federations of the RF;

-        Department on Indigenous Peoples, Ministry for Nationalities and Immigration of the RF;

-        Department on the Northern Territories, Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the RF;

-        Department on Ethnic Cultures, Ministry of Culture of the RF;

-        Department on the International Humanitarian Affairs and Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the RF;

-        Assembly of the Peoples of the RF;

-        Reindeer Herders Union;

-        GREENPEACE, Russia;

-        ECOJURIS;

-        ILO, Russia;

-        UNDP, Russia;

-        The State Museum of Eastern Studies;

-        Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Science;

-        Moscow Human Rights Center;

-        Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany in RF;

-        Royal Embassy of Norway in RF;

-        Royal Embassy of Denmark in RF;

-        Embassy of Finland in RF;

-        Embassy of Canada in RF;

-        Embassy of the USA in RF;

-        And many other…


We want to express our deepest gratitude to those that had and have been supporting the Center financially:


-        Diakonisches Werk von Westfalen;

-        TACIS Democracy Program;

-        Government of Canada;

-        Government of the United Kingdom;

-        Government of Norway;

-        UN Voluntary Fund;



Rodion Samboo, Tyva-Todja, Head of the “Odugen” clan, Tyva Republic (former intern)

Deep gratitude for your trust in us and for your internship program. L’auravetl’an Centre is very useful and much needed for indigenous peoples of the North. There should be more such centres in the Russia’s regions, especially in Tyva Republic. There are many indigenous people still who do not know their rights, who do not know laws.

L’auravetl’an Indigenous Information Centre is the key that opens our eyes on the future of our peoples. I want to say once again how much we need L’auravetl’an.


Ms. Olga Terletzkaia, Nenetz, Narian-Mar, Nenetz Autonomous Region (former intern)

It is difficult to express with words all what I feel towards the centre. For every one of us the internship at L’auravetl’an meant so much. We had an opportunity to evaluate our own civil positions, we learned to believe in ourselves, we became aquatinted with the work of the NGOs and the Russian government at the highest level.

And while work of some of those organisations to us was really depressing, all of the meetings arranged by the centre were incredibly useful. We also learned a lot from each other. We constantly discussed things together, we asked questions together, and we searched for the answers together. Because at L’auravetl’an we realised how similar are our problems and we all wanted to do something real and useful for our peoples. That is why what is written on the first page of every bulletin as the L’auravetl’an motto is close to all our hearts. And when we were saying good-bye to each other after 3 months we really felt how close became lands of the Shors and the Nenetz, and that Barentz Sea is not really that far from the sea of Okhotsk.


Ms. Liubov Naltanova, Dudinka, Taimyr (Dolgan-Nenetz) Autonomous Region

Dear L’auravetl’an Indigenous Information Centre!

We are so grateful to you! Your envelopes with all the news give us warmth and care that we need here far away from the city noise, from the hostile lines at the stores, from the “civilisation”.

But even we are so far away we try to do everything we can to better lives and situations of our people. Our life is really not an easy one. The only way to get to the nearby town is by  helicopter – I don’t need to say how expensive that is. Nobody pays for us to get on that chopper and we ourselves have no money.

But regardless all the difficulties, we love life and we love people. And we won’t be silent and we will fight for our rights!


Mr. Yuriy D’iatchkov, Chukchi, Markovo, Chukchi Autonomous Region I’m impressed and it makes me proud that at the centre of Russia there is such a Centre. L’auravetl’an is help and hope, a tool for our small peoples to defend our rights. On behalf of our elders, our people and myself I want to thank L’auravetl’an Executive Director Mr. Arat Khidyp. Way to go! I believe the centre has great future and I dream that my children and other young people can go through L’auravetl’an and  learn how to survive in this complicated modern world we live in.

The centre’s bulletins are great support. When they come we know that we are not forgotten and that helps a lot. Thank you very much!


Ms. Liubov Tchulzhanova, Shors, Myski, Kemerovo Region (former intern)

I will never forget the days at the Centre. The memories of the three months I spent there are very special. I met there and became friends with many amazing people. With indigenous brothers and sisters who selflessly, by the call of their hearts, devoted their lives to save their peoples, to revive their languages and cultures, to bring to our peoples the due respect from the others, to protect and promote indigenous rights. To do all of the above in a country that has no democratic traditions and experience is incredibly difficult. Very often it looks depressingly impossible. But such moments do pass and new strength comes from somewhere and with it comes the hope that we can do it and we must not quit. If not us then who? And now when everything around seems dismal and hopeless I remember my fellow interns with whom I lived side by side for three months and the emotional energy gives me strengh to continue.

In my opinion, the most valuable gift that L’auravetl’an gives to its interns is the opportunity to learn to respect democracy and the human rights - to respect freedom. And to other people, through its bulletins, the Centre brings the same. I want to believe that L’auravetl’an Indigenous Information Centre will go on to continue support that fragile flame of hope in people’s hearts. 


Mr. Alexander Natarov


I believe L’auravetl’an Indigenous Information Centre is the leading organisation in gathering, analysing and disseminating the information about indigenous peoples of Russia. L’auravetl’an is doing a very important job. One of the main functions of the centre is bringing peoples together and making their problems known in the international arena. There is only one thing that puzzles me however – sometimes some of the articles in the information bulletins sound as if the ancient traditional way of life of indigenous peoples is backward and indigenous communities better embrace the “civilisation” as soon as possible.  Surely that is an opinion of the authors and not the centre. I personally believe in the wisdom expressed in the Cree nation old saying:” … only when the last tree is gone, the last river is poisoned and the last fish is caught will we understand that we can’t eat money.”


Ms. Liubov Stolypina, Dolgan, Dudinka, Taimyr (Dolgan-Nenetz) Autonomous Region (former intern)


L’auravetl’an Indigenous Information Centre is culture, history and traditions of indigenous peoples of Russia. It is a unique opportunity for us to communicate in our own voices and exchange warmth and brotherhood between various peoples of the Russian Federation.

L’auravetl’an interns are people who are not indifferent to the fate of their peoples. They have mandates and a rare opportunity to speak on behalf of their peoples and communities at the highest level.

For me to get to L’auravetl’an was like winning a lottery. New horizons had opened to me, new roads became available because of the information I received as an intern. But it was only a beginning – the internship taught me to look for knowledge.

I learned to hear the pain, the hopes and the needs of my people, but of other peoples also. Our peoples with all our problems are an integral part of what we call Russia. L’auravetl’an information bulletins are the way for our communities to share with the entire world our problems and our victories. The new history of indigenous peoples of Russia is written in those bulletins.

L’auravetl’an gave me so much strength and self-confidence that I ran for a seat in the regional parliament.

It is my opinion that L’auravetl’an Indigenous Information Centre must not only continue but has to expend in order to accommodate many more interns. It also must to help create kind of network between all interns, the former and the present, so they can exchange ideas, experience and efforts to better lives of our peoples in the new century.

I congratulate all with L’auravetl’an 5th anniversary and wish all the best, happiness and  success. Great thanks to Oleg Egorov and Arat Khidyp for their patience and their work.


Zinaida Strogalschikova, Chairperson, Society of Veps Culture, Karelia Republic



Society of Veps Culture wants to thank L’auravetl’an Indigenous Information Centre and Oleg Egorov for working with us in training representatives of Veps people in Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Russian and International legal standards in those areas.
Liubov Sudatchenko, Koriak, Mayor, Topolovka, Magadan region. (former intern)



I am very grateful for your information bulletins. They not only remind me of the centre but help in my work tremendously. In my work I constantly find my self in a situation where I need to know laws and the fundamental Human Rights.
18th group of interns


It is our opinion that L’auravetl’an Indigenous Information Center is vitally important for indigenous peoples of Russia. Only here we can get aquatinted with the wide range of legal and technical information that will help us in our struggle. Only here can we exchange ideas and hopes.

From the bottom of our hearts we congratulate L’auravetl’an with its 5th anniversary and wish it many happy returns!