Norway and Russia signed agreement on indigenous peoples
MOSCOW: Last Tuesday, an agreement on cooperation was signed by the Norwegian Barents Secretariat and RAIPON. The event coincided with the opening of the Centre for Northern Peoples and a concert by Namgar and Mari Boine, among others.
- RAIPON is one of our main and most important partners within the cooperation between indigenous peoples in Russia and Norway, and we are happy to finally have a formal agreement on cooperation, Deputy Head of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, Laila Dalhaug said at the reception in the Norwegian Embassy in Moscow.
Vice-President of RAIPON, Rodion Vasilyevitch Sulyandziga, and Deputy Head of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat, Laila Fallan Dalhaug, signed the agreement on cooperation at the Norwegian Embassy in Moscow on 31 May. (Photo: Christina Henriksen)
The agreement takes into account the mutual interest of the parties in developing indigenous communities and enhancing cooperation between indigenous peoples in Russia and Norway. During the past three years, the cooperation between the Norwegian Barents Secretariat and RAIPON (Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples in the North, Siberia and Far East) has increased, and the relationship has grown through joint projects and regularly communication on indigenous peoples’ issues in Norway and the Russian Federation.
- Today, the Arctic receives a lot of attention. Our main approach to the Arctic and the Barents euro-Arctic Region is, however, that it is the home to many peoples with different cultures, not solely a strategic economic zone. We are happy to have this agreement signed and I look forward to a fruitful cooperation with our Norwegian partner, Rodion Sulyandziga said.
RAIPON’s President, Sergey Nikolayevitch Kharyuchi, met the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Kirkenes in 2008. They discussed indigenous peoples’ issues during a lunch meeting. (Photo: Jonas Karlsbakk)
RAIPON was among the main partners for the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples in the BEAR (WGIP) for the First Barents Indigenous Peoples’ Congress in 2010, and will maintain this partnership through the next congress, which is to be held in February 2012 in Kirkenes. RAIPON is also a permanent observer to the WGIP, and meets frequently with the Working Group members and the adviser on indigenous peoples at the Norwegian Barents Secretariat.
The First Barents Indigenous Peoples’ Congress was held in Kirkenes in 2010, the next one is held in the same venue on 9 February 2012. (Photo: Christina Henriksen)
Regional associations of altogether 41 small-numbered indigenous peoples in Russia are gathered under the RAIPON umbrella, including the Association of Kola Saami (AKS), the Veps Cultural Society and Yasavey (The Public Association of Nenets people in NAO). RAIPON also holds the status as Permanent Participant to the Arctic Council, accompanied by 5 other indigenous peoples’ organizations in the Arctic.
The same day, the Centre for Northern Peoples was opened in Moscow, as a Russian branch of the Riddu Riđđu Festival. The Saami festival is located in Northern Troms, Norway, and has focused on cultures of indigenous peoples in Russia for several years. RAIPON will host the new office in Moscow, and the event was celebrated with a concert in which Altai throat singer Cheinesh Baytoshkina, Nganasan singer Alexey Chunanchar, Namgar from Buryatia and Mari Boine from Sápmi/Norway performed. About 550 persons took part in the concert, which was held in the Central House of Artists.
Christina Henriksen, The Norwegian Barents Secretariat