Debates Indígenas: Indigenous activism in Russia: what’s next?

Of over 190 ethnic groups inhabiting Russia, 40 are classified by Russian legislation as “small-numbered indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East” and thus recognised for their unique way of life and the need for an exclusive set of laws to protect it. As can be deduced from such a classification, these peoples, altogether numbering around 250,000 individuals, inhabit vast territories of the Russian Arctic and Siberia. Even in this area, known for its harsh climate, exceptional richness in natural resources and a very low population density, so-called small-numbered Indigenous Peoples constitute a minority and live surrounded by larger ethnic groups; although in some remote rural districts they do at times account for the majority of the population.

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