ISSN 2227-2380 (Print)

List of issues > «Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series». 2018. Vol. 24

Resistance in Ivanovskoe Village (Amur region). Some Lessons from the Struggle of Evenks for their Rights

M. S. Mikhalev

As far as the protection of rights, traditional culture and lifestyle of the indigenous minorities in Russian North, Far East and Siberia is concerned, it is relatively common among researchers to emphasize the importance of the state and its good intentions towards those groups and ignore the ability of those peoples to defend their own interests themselves. However, there exist a number of examples proving that the indigenous people can successfully resist the encroachments of the corporations onto their lands and lifestyles without state assistance. Sometimes they could even achieve significant results notwithstanding the state would rebuke their efforts and show them no support at all. Unfortunately, these valuable experiences have not yet been properly researched and documented, and as such, they shall be put in the focus of the modern anthropological research alongside with more common research on the state policy towards indigenous minorities. Based on the available open sources and the author's fieldwork data, we elaborate on the case of Evenk people from Ivanovskoe village (Selemdzha district of Amur region in Russia), whose fighting for their own land against both state and gold-mining companies has been so far relatively successful. The article ultimately concludes that the key success factor in any similar resistance movement would be the well-being of the traditional economics of the indigenous groups coupled with the civil courage and the unity of the local people, who should be ready to sacrifice their own interests for the success of the common cause. It is important that this willingness to protect their rights is effectively channeled and institutionalized so that to allow indigenous people to organize their struggle in a law-abiding way. No less important is the ability of educational and cultural facilities to perform in the way that will keep culture alive as it provides with meanings and symbols the struggle of national minority groups to safeguard their dignity, lifestyle and culture without any support from the state.

About the Authors

Mikhalev Maxim Sergeevich, Candidate of Sciences (Law), Doctoral Student, Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, Miklouho-Maclay Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology RAS; 32a, Leninskiy av., 119991, Russian Federation, e-mail: maxmikhalev@yahoo.com

For citation

Mikhalev M. S. Resistance in Ivanovskoe Village (Amur region). Some Lessons from the Struggle of Evenks for their Rights. Bulletin of the Irkutsk State University. Geoarchaeology, Ethnology, and Anthropology Series. 2018, Vol. 24, pp. 118–132. https://doi.org/10.26516/2227-2380.2018.24.118 (in Russ.)

Amur region, Evenks, indigenous people, national policy, traditional culture, resistance

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