Educational Institutions as a Resource for the Urbanization of Indigenous People

The Case of Yakutsk

in Sibirica
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Vera Kuklina Research Professor, George Washington University, USA kuklina@gwu.edu

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Sargylana Ignatieva Professor, Arctic State Institute of Culture and Arts (AGIKI), Russia ss-ignatieva@mail.ru

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Uliana Vinokurova Doctor, Arctic State Institute of Culture and Arts (AGIKI), Russia uottaah1707@gmail.com

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Abstract

This article explores the role of higher education institutions in the development of indigenous cultures in the Arctic city of Yakutsk. Although indigenous cultures have historically been related to traditional subsistence activities and a rural lifestyle, the growing urbanization of indigenous people brings new challenges and opportunities. The article draws on statistical data, as well as qualitative data from the Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Peoples of the Northeast (ILCPN) at the North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) and the Arctic State Institute of Culture and Arts (AGIKI): annual reports, focus groups, interviews, and participant observations. The article argues that students and graduates contribute to the creation of a new image of the city as one in which indigenous cultures can find their own niche.

Contributor Notes

Vera Kuklina is a research professor at the Geography Department at the George Washington University and a senior research associate of the V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography, Siberian Brach of Russian Academy of Sciences. She holds a Candidate of Geographical Sciences degree (equivalent to a PhD). Her research interests include indigenous peoples, culture for sustainability, remoteness, accessibility, and peripheral communities. Her most recent publications are “Between Soviet Legacy and Corporate Social Responsibility: Emerging Benefit Sharing Frameworks in the Irkutsk Oil Region, Russia” (with Maria Tysiachniouk, Andrey N. Petrov, and Natalia Krasnoshtanova [2018]), and with Edward C. Holland, “The Roads of the Sayan Mountains: Theorizing Remoteness in Eastern Siberia” (2018). E-mail: kuklina@gwu.edu.

Sargylana Ignatieva is candidate of Pedagogical Sciences; professor at the Department of Management, AGIKI; Honored Culture Worker of RS (Y); Honored Worker of Higher Professional Education of the Russian Federation; member-correspondent of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences; member of the International Academy of Informatization; and honored citizen of Chapadinha nasleg of Nyurba ulus. Since 2008, she has been the rector of AGIKI. She delivers lectures on “innovation management,” supervises graduate and postgraduate students, and leads the Lab of Methodology and Technology of Human Capital Development in the Arctic and Its Application to the Sphere of Culture. She is the author of a number of monographs and scientific publications. Email: ss-ignatieva@mail.ru.

Uliana Vinokurova is Doctor of Social Sciences and Candidate of Psychological Sciences. She is the author of monographs on culture and education in the Arctic, Arctic circumpolar civilization, ethnosociology, and ethnopsychology. She is the head of the Circumpolar Civilization Research Center at AGIKI; developer and curator of the web sites www.arcticmuseum.org, www.kuyaar.ru, and www.yakutcold.ru; and a lecturer of courses on Arctic cultures. She holds the diploma of the International Academy of Authors of Scientific Discoveries and Inventions and the award of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in science and technology (2013). She served as a People's Deputy of the National Assembly of RS (Y) (Yakutia) (1993–2003) and a member of the Presidium of the Russian Society of Sociologists (1994–2006). E-mail: uottaah1707@gmail.com.

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Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies

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