Protecting Indigenous Rights from Mining Companies

The Case of Ethnological Expertise in Yakutia

in Sibirica
Violetta Gassiy Professor, Kuban State University, Russia

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The Arctic is one of Russia's treasures. However, Arctic economic development means that business is invading lands that are sacred to indigenous peoples. As a rule, regional authorities are interested in tax revenues from subsoil users, prompting them to decide the culture-or-mining dilemma in favor of the latter. But this does not mean that the price of this encroachment on indigenous lands remains uncalculated. Since its establishment in 2010, Yakutia's Ethnological Expertise Committee has developed a tool for assessing the damage caused to indigenous communities by subsoil users. The problem of getting businesses to compensate indigenous communities has yet to be solved. This article seeks answers to the problem of fair compensation methods and explores modes of partnership and cooperation on traditional lands.

Contributor Notes

Violetta Gassiy is a professor of Public Administration department at the Kuban State University (Krasnodar, Russia). Dr. Violetta Gassiy is a member of the Social and Human working group of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and its Action group on Indigenous involvement. She got her doctoral degree in Regional economics and management at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in Moscow in 2016. Her expert activity and scientific interests are related to the problems of sustainable development, social and economic development of traditional lands, local communities, the partnership between government, business and NGOs, social responsibility of business. Special attention is paid to the development of the Arctic, its industrial development, impact assessment of indigenous communities. Dr. Gassiy is a participant of 7 Arctic expeditions including to the New Siberian Islands in 2019. Her recommendations are implemented in the Arctic communities and are used by extractive companies in Russia. Currently she realizes several projects on the Arctic development and environmental economics in the Russian North. E-mail:

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Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies