Overview

The vast expanse of the Russian Federation, from the Kola Peninsula in the northwest to the Chukotka Peninsula in the northeast and Primorye in the east, has long been inhabited by Indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia, and Far East. Indigenous peoples have traditionally inhabited more than one-half of the entire territory of the Russian Federation and were the first to settle the bleak territories and survive the harsh conditions. Many of the names Indigenous peoples gave to the geographical areas endure in present-day Russia.

Indigenous peoples, like many others throughout the world, had a nomadic existence, hunting, fishing, reindeer herding, harvesting wild plants, raising stock, and reaping the bounties of the sea to maintain their families and communities. Today, the majority has adopted a settled way of life, while continuing traditional occupations including gardening, livestock breeding, and animal farming. Indigenous peoples share the peaks and valleys in this country’s history with other Russian peoples in the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the present Russian Federation.

Nurtured by the older generations and encouraged by arts and cultural organizations, each ethnic group has preserved its own language and unique culture. Each has its own rich history that spans centuries and is preserved in the memories of its people. The period when each ethnic group joined the Russian state is particularly significant: each story is different; each has its tragic moments; and much is shrouded in mystery.

Peoples

The total population of indigenous peoples in this region is estimated to be about 270,000 and represents more than 40 ethnic groups. Our peoples belong to several language families residing in various Republics, Regions (Krai, Oblasts), Autonomous Regions (Okrugs), and Districts (Raions) in the Federation.

Population and location of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East
(Census 2010)

  • Aleut: Population – 482 people, location where there are native villages: Kamchatka region (Koryak okrug).
  • Veps: Population – 5936, location where there are native villages: Kareliya Republic, Leningradskaya and Vologodskaya regions.
  • Dolgan: Population – 7885, location where there are native villages: Krasnoyarsk region (Taymir (Dolgan-Nenets) municipal district), Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
  • Itelmen: Population – 3193, location where there are native villages: Kamchatka region (Koryak okrug), Magadan region.
  • Kamchadal: Population – 1927, location where there are native villages: Kamchatka region (Koryak okrug).
  • Kerek: Population – 4, location where there are native villages: Chukotka Autonomous okrug.
  • Kety: Population – 1219, location where there are native villages: Krasnoyarsky region.
  • Komi-Izhemts: Population – 6420, location where there are native villages: Republic of Komi, Murmansk region, Nenets and Khanty-Mansiysky Autonomous okrugs.
  • Koryak: Population – 7953, location where there are native villages: Chukotka Autonomous okrug, Kamchatka and Magadan regions.
  • Kumandin: Population – 2892, location where there are native villages: Altay region, Republic of Altay, Kemerovo region.
  • Mansi: Population – 12269, location where there are native villages: Khanty-Mansiysky Autonomous okrug, Tyumen and Sverdlovsk regions, Republic of Komi.
  • Nanai: Population – 12003, location where there are native villages: Sakhalin, Khabarovsk and Primorsky regions.
  • Nganasan: Population – 862, location where there are native villages: Krasnoyarsky region (Taymir (Dolgan-Nenets) municipal district).
  • Negidal: Population – 513, location where there are native villages: Khabarovsk region.
  • Nenets: Population – 44640, location where there are native villages: Arkhangelsk and Tyumen regions, Nenets, Krasnoyarsk region (Taymir (Dolgan-Nenets) municipal district), Yamalo-Nenets and Khanty-Mansiisky Autonomous okrugs, Republic of Komi.
  • Nivkh: Population – 4652, location where there are native villages: Khabarovsk and Sakhalin regions.
  • Orochi: Population – 596; location where there are native villages: Khabarovsk region.
  • Saami: Population – 1771, location where there are native villages: Murmansk region.
  • Selkup: Population – 3649, location where there are native villages: Yamal-Nenets Autonomous okrug, Krasnoyarsk, Tomsk and Tyumen regions.
  • Soyot: Population – 3608, location where there are native villages: Republic of Buryatia.
  • Tazy: Population – 274, location where there are native villages: Primorsky region.
  • Telengit: Population – 3712, location where there are native villages: Republic of Altay.
  • Teleut: Population – 2643, location where there are native villages: Kemerovo region, Republic of Altay.
  • Tofalar: Population – 762, location where there are native villages: Irkutsk region.
  • Tubalar: Population – 1965, location where there are native villages: Republic of Altay.
  • Tuvinian-Todzhins: Population – 1858, location where there are native villages: Republic of Tuva.
  • Udege: Population – 1496, location where there are native villages: Primorsky and Khabarovsky regions.
  • Ulta: Population – 295, location where there are native villages: Sakhalin region.
  • Ulchi: Population – 2765, location where there are native villages: Khabarovsky region.
  • Khanty: Population – 30943, location where there are native villages: Khanty-Mansiysk and Yamal-Nenets Autonomous okrugs, Tyumen and Tomsk regions, Republic of Komi.
  • Chelkan: Population – 1181, location where there are native villages: Republic of Altay.
  • Chuvan: Population – 1002, location where there are native villages: Chukotka Autonomous okrug, Magadan region.
  • Chukchi: Population – 15908, location where there are native villages: Chukotka Autonomous okrug, Kamchatka and Magadan regions, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
  • Chulim: Population – 355, location where there are native villages: Tomsk and Krasnoyarsk regions.
  • Shor: Population – 12888, location where there are native villages: Kemerovo region, Republic of Khakasia, Republic of Altay.
  • Evenk: Population – 38369, location where there are native villages: Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Republic of Buryatia, Amur, Sakhalin, Irkutsk, Tomsk, Tyumen, Krasnoyarsk, Zabaykalsk and Khabarovsk regions.
  • Even: Population – 21830, location where there are native villages: Chukotka Autonomous okrug, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Magadan, Kamchatka and Khabarovsk regions.
  • Entsy. Population – 227, location where there are native villages: Taymir (Dolgan-Nenets) municipal district of Krasnoyarsk region.
  • Eskimos (Inuit): Population – 1738, location where there are native villages: Kamchatka region, Chukotka Autonomous okrug.
  • Yukagir: Population – 1603, location where there are native villages: Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Magadan region, Chukotka Autonomous okrug.

Regional Organizing

Contact Russian Region: russia@wcip2014.org

Regional Preparatory Meeting

Click here for more information on the Russia Region preparatory meeting held March 27-29, 2013 in Salekhard, Russia.

Resources

International Working Group on Indigenous Affairs. (2012). Indigenous Peoples in the Russian Federation. [ENG]

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