Self-determination and Self-government of Indigenous
of Few Peoples of the Far East: from Hope to Reality
The article is devoted to the problems of self-determination and self-government of indigenous small-numbered peoples of the Far East in conditions of post-Soviet reality. The urgency of the problem is due to the social and political development of indigenous peoples, which are now largely excluded from the political process. Unable to demonstrate their own political state, they, voluntarily or unwittingly, become objects of a museum exposition. Orientation to the traditional way of life, fully supported by the state, does not leave them a place in the political life of the country. The content side of self-determination is examined in a wide range – from the Soviet forms of national and territorial self-determination to recognition for indigenous peoples in accordance with international legal acts, the right to freely establish their political status, ensure their economic, social and cultural development. The process of transforming public sentiments and a state vision towards Soviet models of such self-determination has been shown. The activity of the Koryak Autonomous District in the role of the subject of federation, the reasons for its liquidation, its perception by indigenous peoples have been analyzed. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of contemporary components of the problem of self-determination – the participation of indigenous peoples in the management of the state through a system of representation in legislative and executive bodies, authorized representation in local self-government bodies, self-organization in public organizations that take part in solving vital issues important issues, the formation of public self-government bodies capable of independently solving everyday local problems. Attempts to implement such self-government through public associations of indigenous peoples (associations, communities) are critically appraised. It is concluded that without the solution of the main issue of local self-government in modern conditions – ownership of land, fishing grounds, pastures – any attempts to define the contours of ethnic self-government will remain as beautiful declarations as they are practically. The return of indigenous peoples to the mainstream of political life is impossible without the active assistance of this process to the state, however, the forms and mechanisms that developed in the 1990s have exhausted themselves and require a serious conceptual update. There is a need to improve the bodies of political self-organization and self-government, increase the responsibility of indigenous peoples for their own development, and train appropriate specialists from among them.
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