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Present-day juridical situation

The Evenk belong to the category of ìsmall autochtonous peoplesî (fewer than 50,000) members mentioned in Russiaís 1993 Constitution and governed by the ìlaw guaranteeing the rights of small autochthonous peoplesî passed on 30 April 1999. The law of 20 July 2000 on the communities formed by these peoples gives them the right to organize their traditional economy as they see fit, and the law of 7 May 2001 provides for the creation of reserves at their disposal for the exploitation of the natural resources. The rights defined in the 1999 law are not restricted to the cultural framework; they also contain free medical aid, the use of the lands and the resources under the ground without charge, as well as the possibility of doing civilian service in the place of military service.
Alternatively, with certain exceptions, these peoples have no autonomy when it comes to local administration, and their political rights are very limited. In particular, they are not represented in the federal agencies; the regions have the possibility and not the obligation to promote their representation in the regional and local assemblies. Their associations cannot be turned into political parties because it is forbidden to found a party on national belonging.

ìOur laws are magnificentî, Evenk say, ìbut they stay on paper.î In effect, in practice few people are acquainted with these laws and there are few local authorities who do not oppose their application when these peoples want to claim their rights, whether it is a question of family economy, the land, exemption from the tenancy tax or civilian service in place of military service. Hunters cannot get a hunting license in their own name and are obliged to go through the sovkhozs. And the right to the resources under the ground, in reality limited to a depth of 20 centimeters in cooperatives, allows only agriculture and herding, and excludes any exploitation of mineral resources, which remains a State monopoly. Alternatively, in the area of education, minority peoples have some leeway and receive a fair amount of aid from the Federation: they are allowed to create their own national schools.

Check the following links for further details

L'Auratvet'lan, a russian indigenous association

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (raipon)

Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (raipon)

Author(s): A. Gazier / R. Hamayon
Date created: 2003-09-09 - Date modified: 2004-06-01

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