ETHNOECOLOGY OF NORTHERNER: SOCIO-CULTURE AND PSYCHO-PEDAGOGICAL PROBLEMS
PROBLEMS OF CREATION OF REVIVAL AND PRESERVATION SYSTEM FOR INDIGINOUS PEOPLES CULTURE IN KAMCHATKA
There are many problematic issues tied with the topic of the ecological seminar “Man in accordance with nature: illusions and challenge”. Even the definition of the “indiginous” peoples deserves a particular explanation. For instance, the Evens living in the Bisturiskiy national region of the Kamchatka area, migrated here only 200 years ago, while the Russian population has been living here for 300 years. The question arises, which of the peoples living on this territory are “more indiginous”? But if we do not take into consideration the time of the population s settlement, and speak about the definite nationality as itself, about its development, it would be more appropriate to apply to the classical definition of nation, which implies the existence of triad: the territory of habitation, the confession of the definite culture and the knowledge of the native language. In case of omission of one of these factors, the existence of the given nation changes. For the most part, the inadequacy of the behavior and sensations appears in such community of people, and the traditional national components of their vital functions begin to degrade.
In this connection, the international legal practice distinguished the nation of status and nonstatus groups of national population, belonging to which is determined by their degree of conformity to 3 characteristics indicated above. In the end this conformity determines the status of particular population groups, relating themselves to the native ones, claiming to the priority of the position or reception of any privileges, fixed for the ethnic minorities living on this territory.
As we began to speak about the Evens, we can examine all the enumerated questions on the example of this nation. Evidently a man is a part of the natural system, its component and he has to live in chime with all its constituents in order not to break the natural
balance. But for all that we shouldn’t forget that a man exists owing to natural resources only - there is no other source of survival for him .So there must not be any illusions about this situation. That’s why the ecology takes the important place in the up-to-date life, particularly in the region of dwelling of the Northern peoples, and much depends on the conditions of the environment. Moreover it’s impossible to provide the preservation of the biological diversity of the territories without the participation in this process the ethnic minorities living on these northern territories themselves. Thus, the Bystrinskiy National Region of the Kamchatka Region has no outlet to the sea-coast. Its area is 23km2, the population is 2,7 thousand people including the Evens - 850 people, the Koryaks - 150 people, the Aleuts - 10 people, the Itelmens -40 people, the Kamchadaly - 20 and the Chukchis - 10. As we can see the Evens make the basis of the native national population of the region and the guardians of the national culture of Nomadic peoples.
The main inhabited centres of the region are: the village of Esso (the district centre), the village of Anavgay; the rest of national villages do not exist any more.
Natural potential of the region is considerable - it generally includes the mineral
- raw materials and recreational resources, as well as the agro climatic possibilities of the territory.
There is a sufficiently developed industrial infrastructure (transport, power engineering, and communication service), which is likely to be in better condition than in other regions not only of the area, but of the whole peninsula:
- the highway of regional importance, joining the villages of the region with the administrative centre, which was constructed for the purpose of carrying out the geophysical prospecting and the following exploitation of
Esso and Anavgay deposits of thermal springs;
- owing to the exploitation of the mineral water fields, the villages of the region were provided with heat-supply;
- on the territory of the region there are also the road of local importance built for the effective and safe geological prospecting of the deposits of quicksilver (Chempurinskoye); gold (Aginskoye, Zolotoye and others), copper and nickel ores (Shanuchinskoye) ;
- the roads of local importance were also built up to the Oksinskiye and Apapelskiye hot-springs, where geological prospecting hasn’t made yet;
- the airport in the village of Esso;
- the Hydro Power Plant, constructed on the Bystraya River, became the first of the planned cascade of the hydro power plant ; it supplies the settlements of the region with energy;
- on the territory of the region the Bisturiskiy Nature Park was founded, but tourism is poorly developed here, the territory of the park is not guarded; complex scientific researches are not carried out here;
- the region has telephone communication, besides post-offices, radio, TV, Bank Exchange and regional newspaper;
Social infrastructure was also created in the Bisturiskiy region: hotels, schools, cultural centres, kindergartens, hospitals, chemist shops and other medical establishments, clubs, museums, libraries, sports centres, swimming-pools with thermal water, veterinary stations, shops, etc.
The national kinds of economy of the Evens, living in the Bisturiskiy region, are:
- deer-raising (reindeer-
breeding),which is nowadays on the decline because of the decrease of the reindeer stock, and the full stop of the state financing of this agricultural field;
- fishing of all kinds of salmonids in the Bystraya and Itcha rivers basins, which is practically cut down today as far as the Evens were not sufficiently provided with the quotas for fishing, also because of absence of salmon in the given basins, because of its predation in the lower coarse of these rivers, which are located on the territory of the other districts of the Region;
- hunting, wild plants collective
economy, which are also in the state of depression.
There are not any industrial enterprises on the territory of the region, except for the small private enterprises dealing with trade and household, but they are not large in number of the staff. The main part of able to work population works in the budget administrative and social establishments.
Thus, even the superficial analysis of the current situation can show that it is very difficult to maintain and develop the traditional kinds of the nature economy of the Evens population in spite of the developed infrastructure for the national region.
The situation is getting worse due to the fact, that the Evens have lost there native language and are on the way to lose there culture. And language is the main mechanism of transfer of traditions, customs, main principles of economy and nature economy, all that defines the nation s culture. And if we speak about the Evens culture revival, we shall have to struggle not only for fishing quotas and state subsidies into deer - breeding, but also for the revival of language of communication. The mastering of the latter mainly depends on the representatives of this nation themselves. And if the Evens could revive their dances, rituals, there would not be any obstacle for them to learn their native Even which would help to form the systematic approach to the revival of culture of these people.
Today the time shows the necessity of scientifically valid programme of social economic development of the Bystrinskiy national region formation, which must be based on the national traditions of the population and the complex use of the territory s natural resources. Nowadays we testify the fact, that owing to the beginning process of the exploration of natural - raw materials of the region, the new roads and populated areas will be created here, as well as the social infrastructure will be strengthened. But there is a doubt, whether all this will contribute to the rise of the reindeer-breeding, fishing or hunting of the local population within - the frames of the existing system. According to the confirmed EIA - on these objects, during the exploitation of the deposits
of the minerals the environmental protection will undoubtly be maintained on the up-to-date level. That is why the question of the programme of the ecologically-balanced development of the Bystrinskiy national region deserves a great attention, taking into account the peculiarities of the population economy, connected with its origin, the conditions of the settlement of the main part of the region population - the Evens, their material, collective and spiritual culture, as well as cultural-historical relationship with the other peoples. Here one should remember about the historical roots of the Evens.
In general the origin of the peoples is a very long and complicated process and any nation changes in the result of constant migrations and merging with another nations. The peoples of the North, including the Evens, featured by historical migration and numerous contacts with the other peoples of the northeastern part of continental Asia, do not make an exception.
On the ground of the numerous ethnographical researches it is considered that the Evens and the Lamuts are the representatives of mongoloids of the Baikal type from the North-East of Asia. Till the Xth-XIIth centuries these people had been living on the territories of Baikal-Left-bank of the undercurrent of the Amur River. Their language belongs to Tungus-Manchzhurskaya group of the Altain language family. The contacts with the indigenous paleo-Asia population of Siberia and China played a very important role in the development of their culture. The displacement of the Evens from the places of their historical habitation took place underpolitical influence of the active conquests by the united mongoloid tribes in the XIIth-XIIIth centuries. Yielding to this pressure, the Evens occupied not only the Northern Priokhotye, Primagadanye, but finally Kamchatka. The Evens’ migration to the north-eastern territories was accompanied by the assimilation of the Ukagirs and the Koryaks.
According to the traditions of housekeeping the Evens were divided into the «deep-laid type» - wandering inland (the proper Evens), who were occupied with deer-raising, hunting and lake and river fishing, and
into the «coastal type» - the Lamuts (in Even “lamu” means “a sea”), characterised by deer-absent, more settled coastal fishing-hunting way of life with the rearing of huskies. Though one should note that probably there wasn’t a distinct division into these groups. Besides the enumerated kinds of activities the Evens occupied themselves with collecting of wild plants, horse-breeding of the Yakut type, smelting of metals, blacksmith cutlery, harpoon-heads and also bone-carving and silver, tin, copper and iron crufts. And, of course, they were occupied with processing of fish and meat, as well as with working out animal skins, tailoring and so on.
During the process of their migration the Evens transferred their art and skills to the indigenous people, who inhabited these territories. Thus the Koryaks learnt to smelt iron out of marsh lymonit ores, make knives and other home utencils of iron, etc. However in the last century due to the objective and subjective reasons the Evens, as well as the other peoples of the North-East of Russia, lost and forgot some traditional kinds of housekeeping and nature management. That’s why today all the population of the territory faces a task of working out of the system of the traditional culture’s revival, including the kinds of nature economy. This problem also concerns the ethnic minorities inhabiting the Bystrinskiy region of the Kamchatka area.
Unfortunately nowadays some social organizations, including international, profiteering in the problems of the peoples of the North, often receive grants from the creditors, who, as the practice shows, are not interested in the social-economic development of the north-eastern territories of Russia, but on the contrary provide the stagnation of public consciousness of these people. There are projects concerning the preservation of biological diversity and the revival of traditions of the peoples of the North but as a rule these projects serve as a kind of screen for drawing up. In such a way some projects on the preservation of biological diversity in Kamchatka and particularly on the territory of the Bystrynskiy Nature Park are made only for the purpose of the organization and financing of the tours for a score or two of foreigners on our peninsula and vice versa - for some our
residents abroad. Naturally, for justifying the expenses on this activity the reports are written, the conferences and seminars are held and even little sums of money are allocated to the local organizations, of ecological direction as a rule, but often the representatives of ethnic minorities are not admitted to them and the depressive state of the peoples’ culture is still getting worse.
Nevertheless, there are positive examples of the organization and life arrangement of the ethnic minorities of the North. Here it would be reasonable to make use of the experience of such countries as Norway, Finland, the USA (Alaska), etc. But such positive examples can be found in the Russian Federation as well. One of them is the Evens living in the North-Even national region of the Magadanskaya area. Their ability to run the modern economy while preserving the traditional kinds of nature management was personally observed by the author during his visit to this neighbouring to the Kamchatka peninsula area.
The Magadan area is the region of the Russian Federation, where the mineral resource industry constitutes the main brunch of economy and at the same time it is a territory inhabited by the peoples of the North (such as the Yakuts, the Chukchas, the Koryaks, the Evens). In what way these two factors are combined in the socio-economic development of the territory, one can see on the example of the North-Even national region where the Koryaks and the Evens live.
Of course, not all is safe here and for sure there is a number of the unsolved questions in the in the ecology, economy and social sphere. However on the whole one can trace a definite system of activities of the administration of the area and the municipal organizations directed on the socio-economic development of the territory of compact residing of the ethnic minorities on the North and on the revival of there traditional culture. So in February and May of the current year the regional laws “About the lump sums on the grounds of pregnancy and birth of a child to women-reindeer breeders” and “About the reindeer-breeding in the Magadan area” were added to the number of the current standard legal acts and governor’s regulations which
guarantee the rights and the support of these peoples. In the budget of the area for the current year the means, provided for financing of the regional target programme “Holding of the international tenth anniversary of the aboriginal peoples of the would” were increased, and 1983 thousand roubles have already been spent for this purpose this very year. Besides since this year regular flights will be carried out to the remote out-of-the-way national villages of the area. For the job there was appropriated 1 million roubles; later on this sum is planned to be increased. To support and develop the economic establishments of the aboriginals and their tribes 500 thousand roubles were apportioned from the off-budget fund of the special economic zone. The measures are being taken to preserve the reindeer livestock of the area. This year the federal budget apportioned 1 million 600 thousand roubles for the support of the reindeer farming. The budget of the area provides 930 thousand roubles for the compensatory damage to the reindeer breeders. Thanks to the regional administration’s initiative in the current year the federal budget apportioned the funds for the reconstruction of the boarding-school in the Evens village (1 million 600 thousand roubles) and for the organization of the regional folklore holiday “Bakyldydyak” dedicated to the 50-th anniversary of the formation of the Magadan area (170 thousand rubles). The quota for the salmon catch is fixed in the amount of 150 kg a man.
Much is done by the municipal organizations of the area in this direction. Thus there is a regional programme of the socioeconomic development of the ethnic minorities of the North in the North-Even region which is in force for the 2nd year. The administration of the North-Even national region pays a serious attention to the training of the national cadres. All the heads of the municipal country establishments, almost 40% of the staff working in the regional administration are the representatives of the native peoples of the North. The tendency of the revival and preservation of the culture and the native languages of the peoples of the North is strengthened; the organization of the national holidays, the development of the amateur art
activities, and the support of folklore choirs become traditional. The sponsor s help to the native population of the region, as well as the employment assistance, are also provided by the mineral resource industry enterprises located in this district which are the infrastructure-building objects that is it is owing to them that the roads are built, the power plants are set up, the communications facilities function, etc.
However the main factor of the socio-economic development of the North-Even region possibly lies in the fact that in spite of the existing negative moments connected with the transitional period which is characteristic for our country where the modern way of life and the principle kinds of the natives’ traditional nature management were preserved. Reindeer-breeding, hunting, fishing still remain the main aboriginals’ occupation even today. It became possible only due to the activity of large Omolonskaya gold-ore company on the territory of the North-Even national region, one of the founders of which is the Association of the ethnic minorities of the North of the North-Even region.
The main principles of the Omolonskaya Company’s activity at working off the Kubakinskoye ore gold deposit in view of existing circumstances initially are the following terms:
1. The deposit is situated within the bounds of the national region inhabited by the Koryaks and the Evens who are occupied with reindeer-breeding, hunting and fishing. At a regional level there is The Association of the ethnic minorities of the North which has the legal status.
2. The Association is one of the Omolonskaya Company’s founders (6,6% of the authorized fund).
3. Economic and social questions must be solved at the stage of preparation of the license agreement at the coordination and the statement of the Project of extraction and OVOS according to the current legislation of Russia.
4. At the preparatory stage the discussions of all the pressing questions concerning the environmental protection and the social aspects of the native population’s
life must be held with the native people (at the meetings of the association, at general meetings, at meetings in reindeer-breeders’ brigades).
5. During the process of working the company has to organize the regular meetings with the native inhabitants both in the regional village and on the deposit.
6. The noteworthy issues must be: the exception of water-currents infection by waste products of manufacture (cyanides, petroleum products, turbid water), minimization of works in the river arm-holes, preservation of deer’s driving through winter roads, decrease of noise in the places of pasture and refreshing of deer, delivery of alcohol, illegal purchase of the venison, hunting and fishing on the territory of the industrial activity of the company, etc.
7. The observance of designed decisions and the publicity of their performance are the conditions without which the functioning of the mineral resource company in the national region is impossible. The digressions from the designed decisions should be accepted through the additional coordination.
8. The complex of social questions must be declared in the agreement between the company and the administration of the region after licensing the working off of the deposit.
At working off of the Kubakruskoye deposit these principles were implemented in the following way:
- the ecological problems were discussed and coordinated multilaterally even at the drawing up from the international banks;
- legal questions were solved in 2 directions: through the head of administration of the region who gave out the sanction to land tenure and for designed of the environmental undertakings after the coordination with the Association or through the Association’s representative as a member of the committee of directors and the founder of the company -in other words there was the openness not only of the accepted decisions but also of their implementation;
- at the expense of the charitable fund “Omolon”, approved by the company at the rate of 1 million dollars, the teaching of children of the national region was carried out;
- annually the company apportioned
the funds for carrying out of reindeer brooders’ meetings and for rendering of material aid to needy families;
- about З0 residents of the region work in the Omolonskaya company; during the summer the students (25-35 men) do their practical work at the mining industrial complex;
- on the economic plane the company rendered gratuitous aid systematically in the delivery of roads and people in this region difficult of access;
- for providing the seasonal delivery of loads, necessary for the living conditions of the region, the pre-term tax payments were made, the interest-free loans and the insurance arrangements for bank credits were given out.
- the amount of rendered services was not determined by the contract but was carried out on the ground of the letters from the administration of the region and the Association with the account of financial possibilities of the company;
- on the whole the industrial activity of the Omolonskaya company provided the principal budgetary receipts of the North-Even region.
Thus up-to-date prosperity of the socioeconomic state of the North-Even region, in comparison with many other national territories of the north-east of our country is principally obliged to the activity of the Omolonskaya company. That population of this region face the main problem: the resources of the Kubakruskoye deposit are excising and it is necessary to think due to what sources it will be possible to preserve the modern way of life and the traditional nature management of the native population in the future. Unfortunately, in connection with the transition to market economy, the prospecting was much reduced and the opening of a new large mining enterprise on this territory is problematic. If a new source of the existence is not found, the Evens will have to refuse the modern way of life that is electricity, modern transport, communications facilities, education, medical care, modern houses and so on. That is why in view of the approaching of such situation the administrations of the Magadan area and the North-Even region now have very serious problems. And the
residential population still hopes for their successful solution.
It is possible to speak much and for a long time about the rights of the ethnic minorities of the North and the improvement of their living conditions, and even to pass the laws supposedly protecting the rights of these peoples but the solution will not be found until the practicable economic ways of problemsolving of these ethnic minorities, including the Evens, are determined. Nowadays the ethnic minorities of the North living in the Kamchatka area need the help as never before. The most rational way of the revival of their culture and kinds of nature management is the creation and implementation of the scientifically valid programme of complex use of the natural resources, on condition that these peoples will participate directly in the development of the resources of the territory and in the preservation of the environment.
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