University focuses interest on indigenous people

Nenets Oil Company and Northern Arctic University (NARFU) establish a Nenets auditorium in Arkhangelsk and opens a filial in Naryan-Mar.


Northern Arctic University in Arkhangelsk.
Northern Arctic University in Arkhangelsk. Photo: Andrey Shalyov

The agreement on common activity in development of Nenets auditorium was signed today by Andrey Rudov, CEO of Nenets Oil Company and Elena Kudryashova, Rector of NARFU. The Nenets Oil Company will invest over 600 thousand rubles (€15.170) in the project.

This place is going to become a meeting point for science and education for indigenous people of two Arctic regions.

“This is very important step in closing the positions Arkhangelsk oblast and Nenets Autonomous Okrug,” says Rudov. He stressed that this agreement is supported by Nenets Governor Igor Fedorov.

Recent interrelations between these two regions one can hardly be called smooth. Geographically NAO is a part of Arkhangelsk oblast and share the common budget but politically is almost totally independent. This contradiction caused strong discussions around possible merging of the regions in the future.

NARFU looks at Nenets Okrug as a strategic area of expansion its scientific and educational activity. In 2009 the university and NAO administration signed an agreement on cooperation. Today’s event is one of the first practical steps in realization of this agreement. During this year the university is going to open a filial in Narjan-Mar. At the moment the Nenets filial will concentrate on training of specialists for oil and gas industry which is actually the main and almost only resource for economic development in this region. But there are definitely other issues where the competence of NARFU specialists is highly demanded in the okrug.

Ivan Moseev and Andrey Rudov. Photo: Andrey Shalyov

“We feel that Nenets Autonomous Okrug is also interested in such fields like preservation and development of Nenets language and culture, anthropology, archaeology, reindeer husbandry, environmental issues of the Arctic territories, ” says Ivan Moseev, Director of Pomor Institute of Indigenous people in NARFU. This Institute was established in the university last year in order to develop research and education focused on issues of indigenous people. This week Ivan Moseev takes part in the Congress of Indigenous People in Kirkenes.

The concept of Nenets auditorium also allows highlighting the challenges of other indigenous people in Arkhangelsk oblast and NAO. Recently some new organizations of Nenets, Sami and Vepsian people showed up its activity in Arkhangelsk.

The organizations of Pomors are struggling to be recognized as indigenous people of the North but so far do not get an official approval.

Read also: Return of the Pomors