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 Meeting of Federation Council Committee on Northern Affairs and Indigenous Peoples on Relation between Industrial Companies and Indigenous Peoples

LIENIP NewsAn extended meeting of the Federation Council Committee for Northern Affairs and Indigenous Peoples was held on May 12, 2010. Issues of normative regulation of relations between mining companies active in the areas inhabited by indigenous peoples and small-numbered indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East were discuss during the meeting. Senators of federal subjects, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Nationalities Affairs Valentin Kuptsov, head of the North and Siberia Department of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of Russian Academy of Sciences Dmitry Funk, director of the International Relations Department of the Ministry of Regional Development of Russia Alexander Zhuravskii, and representatives of public organizations of indigenous peoples of Russia took part in the meeting. "L’auravetl’an" Information and Education Network of Indigenous Peoples was represented by Gulvayra Shermatova, president of the organization.
Gennady Oleinik, chairman of the Committee, during his opening speech highlighted the fact that despite the fairly extensive legal framework governing the life of indigenous peoples the issues of their rights to traditional land use remain the most relevant. Indigenous peoples are looking for the State to adopt a normative act that will settle the matter of their relations with the mining companies. And in this case, the state should act as a guarantor of their legitimate rights.
Director of the International Relations Department of the Ministry of Regional Development of Russia Alexander Zhuravskii noted that in 2009 the Ministry of Regional Development adopted the methodology of calculating the amount of damages caused to associations of small-numbered indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East as a result of economic and other activities of organizations of all forms of property and individuals in places of traditional residence and traditional economic activities of these peoples.

Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Nationalities Affairs Valentin Kuptsov noted that consideration of the draft law "On protection of native habitat, traditional living and traditional land use of indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation" which defines the procedure of ethnological examination is shelved at the State Duma, and most probably all members of the current convocation will not have time to pass it.
Participants gave examples of successful cooperation in regions of the Russian Federation between indigenous peoples and industrial companies with direct participation of subjects’ government bodies (Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Sakhalin Oblast). But at the same time they noted that there is a need for adoption of a normative act at federal level binding industrial companies to keep record of small-numbered indigenous peoples’ interests and to compensate for the damage caused by their activities in places of traditional residence and traditional economic activities of indigenous peoples.
At the end of the Committee meeting they adopted a decision that with the revisions and suggestions made during the discussion will be sent to the Government of the Russian Federation, the State Duma, the bodies of state power of subjects, organizations of small-numbered indigenous peoples.

Press center of LIENIP



 
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