TRADITIONAL LAND USE FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE RUSSIAN NORTH AS THE BASIS FOR THE ETHNOS PRESERVATION
Recently, the problems of indigenous peoples of the North have been related to the realization of the indigenous low-numbered peoples’ basic right to own and use their land. Its acquisition is often antagonized, which is not only due to ignorance of these peoples’ specifics, but also their lands rich in oil, gas and other natural resources. The special importance of the land issue for indigenous peoples is currently connected with the modern Russia realities: privatization, land leasing and private property rights. Without proper safeguards, indigenous peoples are being squeezed out of the occupied territories and their ability to use natural resources has been reduced. Many norms of the current legislation aimed at ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples are declarative and they do not provide for a legal possibility of granting lands to indigenous peoples for gratis use in places of their traditional habitation.
The indigenous peoples ancestral lands should be recognized and remain not least because the land for them living by fishing, hunting, reindeer herding, gathering, forms the material and mental basis in their life activity. Without land, indigenous peoples are doomed to disappear or, at best, lose their distinctive culture.
Traditional natural resources exploitation should remain, in the foreseeable future, for the indigenous peoples of the North the material basis of their traditional culture and way of living preservation. Indigenous peoples’ integration in modern society should be based on their special legal status and should be implemented primarily on the basis of not dominant but traditional society values, thus creating conditions for their ethnic identity preservation.
Keywords: traditional land use, Russian North, ethnos preservation, indigenous peoples
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