The Impact of Extractivism on Indigenous Peoples

Social, Gender, and Economic Inequality

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Maria A. Pavlova Researcher, Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russia mpavlova1997@gmail.com

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Nyurgun A. Leontiev Professor, M. K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University, Russia leonza@mail.ru

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Abstract

The Ethnological Impact Assessments (EIA) procedure in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is used to protect the interests of indigenous minorities living in areas where extractive companies are planning to operate. Rural women are active in the process of exercising conscious, free choice in the planned activities of industrial companies. Industrial companies, when seeking the consent of indigenous minorities to develop resources, agree to conduct ethnological research and enter contracts for compensation payments. The role of women in the compensation process is virtually ignored. The article discusses economic and socio-cultural aspects of indigenous peoples’ sustainability and the possibility of “structural restoration” of their local system. The proposes ways to preserve traditional knowledge, women's proposals for assuring wellbeing and quality of life for rural families.

The lives of peoples inhabiting harsh natural conditions are subjected to larger transformations during industrial development of their territories. Industry affects the social and economic life of local communities, changing their habitual life and forcing coexistence with industrial companies. The struggle of extractive companies for natural resources sweeps away the wellbeing of the environment and local communities. The nomadic lifestyle of local indigenous peoples is shifting towards sedentarization, leading to a loss of their traditions and rituals, which have been passed down from generation to generation. The identity of northern indigenous cultures has always been the basis for the values of their social and economic life. The mechanical destruction of indigenous peoples’ lands by extractive companies leads to a decrease in forage pastures for domestic reindeer and horses, the departure of hunting animals to remote forests, an increase in predators destroying livestock, and soil degradation near industrial facilities (Potravni amd Krivoshapkina 2017). All these factors are intensified by ongoing climate change, characterized by dramatic changes in temperature and precipitation.

The Russian Federation has passed laws requiring industrial companies to consider the opinion of the local indigenous community in ongoing investment projects at the design stage (RF 2004). During the preparatory stage for investment, according to the Urban Planning Code, industrial companies are required to undergo expert review of proposed projects (SR 2010). Within the framework of state expertise there is supervision of compliance with technical and technological conditions, including environmental requirements. Considering the territory of the region of the Russian Federation in which an industrial company begins implementation of its own investment project, supervisory services are obliged to comply with the requirements of federal laws on protection and guarantees of the rights of indigenous minorities.

In the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), one of Russia's far northeastern regions, a law on ethnological impact assessments (EIA) has been passed. One of the purposes of an EIA is to conduct public hearings on the construction and operation of industrial and support facilities (highways, trunk gas and oil pipelines, high-voltage power grids, and others) in places where indigenous local communities live. Women are the most active in making an informed choice of the work offered by industrial companies. Part of the population is in favor of regular meetings to explain the types of work being done in the municipality and to assess the impact on the ecological and ethnological environment. In the course of public hearings, rural women are very active in making a conscious, free choice in the planned economic activities of industrial enterprises. Women are more attentive to the issue of transmitting to the younger generation the existing traditional knowledge regarding everyday life, rituals, and ancestral customs. A study (Timofeeva 2014) on the traditional rituals of the Evenks reveals the importance of women in conducting rituals. E. I. Fetisova and colleagues (2016) also describe women who are the guardians of the economic and cultural traditions of the peoples of the North and depend on them for traditional food, clothing, and home furnishings in modern conditions. Therefore, their behavior in the process of public hearings is predetermined by the need to preserve the existing situation and to cause minimal damage to the environment, leaving the possibility of its future restoration.

From the perspective of Katy Jenkins (2014) and Kate Sinclair and colleagues (2022), women are fundamental to food security, important for community stability, cohesion, and morale, and they act as major agents of change. This assertion is based on research by Sinclair and colleagues (2022) on rural indigenous women in Nirinho, Colombia regarding their autonomy and ability to provide food for their households. The main limitations are identified as lack of remuneration for women's work, lack of education, and discrimination in agriculture. On the cultural side, women recognize the lack of transmission of traditional knowledge, changes in the agricultural landscape, and environmental degradation. Social constraints stem from the undervaluation of women's work as well as violence and discrimination in the family, and the deterrence of rural indigenous women's participation has direct implications for food security.

Jenkins (2014) discusses the role of women living in states in the Global South that use small-scale mining. The degradation of arable land, pasture, and drinking water by harmful emissions and waste from extractive industries is destroying the traditional livelihoods of indigenous local communities as well as changing the role women play in sustaining households. Rural communities are losing land, which reduces the agricultural labor market and decreases food security in these areas. Most women are unemployed and move with their families to cities. At the same time, women's participation in land compensation negotiation processes is limited by men, who contribute to gender inequality in management and economy, law, and business ethics.

Women in rural settlements in industrial areas of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) are engaged in social activities and are employed in state institutions. Working in state institutions enables them to have a small income, while traditional trades are shrinking under the pressure of mining operations sprinkled across the territory and appearing like “mushrooms after the rain.” In the villages, budgetary institutions are primarily represented by kindergartens, general education schools, rural health centers, ethno-cultural centers, the heritage administration, housing and public utilities, and fire departments. Women are predominantly employed in industries with light physical labor, most of which involve intellectual work. Women work with children, provide medical services, and manage rural budgetary organizations, while men are heads of capital-intensive institutions, an important part of which is production, maintenance of fixed assets, and application of material costs. This article examines the practice of industrial companies interacting with indigenous people prior to concluding contracts with indigenous people, and the role of women in negotiation processes and in management of the community.

Methodology

The study uses field research materials collected in rural settlements of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (Kindigirskii and Iengrinskii naslegs) in 2019 (see Figure 1), and interviews conducted with women participants of public hearings regarding the planned economic activities of industrial enterprises in 2019 and 2022. The period 2020–2021 is not reflected in the work due to the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions.

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Map of the study areas in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (Iengra village, Kudu-Kyuyel village)

Citation: sibirica 22, 1; 10.3167/sib.2023.220106

Neryungri District

The Neryungri district includes Iengra village, located on the territory of traditional nature use “Iengra,” which was formed in 2015. There were 944 permanent residents in the village at the beginning of 2020. From 2015 to 2020, the population decreased by 8.7 percent, due to the outflow of young people to industrial cities and increased mortality. According to the materials of the 2010 All-Russian census, the ethnic composition of Iengra village included a significant proportion of indigenous peoples, with Evenks at 74.3 percent of the population, Evens at 0.7 percent, Sakha at 1.8 percent, Russians at 15.2 percent, and other nationalities at 8 percent. Women made up 54.5 percent of the population. In 2019, the number of employees in organizations was 178 people. The main occupation of the residents of Iengra was agriculture, namely traditional economic sectors such as reindeer herding, commercial hunting, and caged fur farming (26 percent of the total number of employees worked in these areas). The other part of the population was employed in the public administration sector and small businesses. According to the regional department of the Ministry of Agriculture, there are 31 organizations, of which 29 are small communities, and almost all are engaged in reindeer herding (there are 27 nomadic families in the village). The number of reindeer is growing (6,418 head at the beginning of 2020), with an increase of 11.6 percent over the five-year period, which means an annual growth rate of up to 3 percent. According to results reported in 2019, 614 tugut (young reindeer) and vazhenki (female reindeer) were killed by predators.

Olekminskii District

The Olekminskii district includes the village of Kudu-Kyuyel. In 2016, an area of traditional nature management named “Kindigirskii” was formed on the territory of the traditional ethnic heritage. At the beginning of 2020 there were 342 people living in Kudu-Kyuyel village, after decreasing 6.2 percent between 2015 and 2020. In 2010 the ethnic composition according to the All-Russian census was Evenks—62.8 percent, Evens—4.3 percent, Sakha—27.7 percent, and Russians—4.3 percent. Women made up 53.9 percent of the population, and there were 197 persons employed. The number of people registered in the employment services was only 6 people. The number of reindeer in the local herd decreased significantly over the past five years; in 2015 there were 321 reindeer. The main reason for the unprofitability of reindeer herding is related to the remuneration of reindeer herders according to the new methodology, which eventually led to the termination of state support for small-scale reindeer herding farms. Fur hunting is an old-time occupation and at present attempts are being made to develop it, but the decrease in world purchase prices is closely connected with the decrease in the income of the clan communities. Active hunting is conducted not far from populated areas, and there is a high density of sable population along the Olekma River basin in the remote areas.

Our main method of collecting information was a questionnaire survey. Over the course of this fieldwork, 43 women were interviewed. When compiling the questionnaire survey, we were guided by the main goals and objectives of the technical specifications of the research customer, as well as the main provisions of the law on ethnological impact assessment (EIA); we used the reports from our own previous ethnological environmental impact assessment. We also conducted expert interviews with the staff of the herd administrations, deputies of the local administration, employees of educational, medical, sports, and cultural institutions, entrepreneurs, heads of clan communities of less-numerous indigenous peoples, and herd elders. The interviews were tape-recorded and presented as field notes. The bulk of the interviews were conducted with residents who identify themselves as less-numerous indigenous peoples (Evenks) and, in any case, were connected with traditional crafts and reindeer herding. Questionnaires were used to record data on the state of the socio-cultural environment and household economy. The interviews were audio-recorded and written notes were taken. Interview questions touched upon social and economic problems of the village and communities.

In the course of the research, public hearings were held (Iengra village, Kudu-Kyuyel village) on construction of the main gas pipeline. We participated in the public hearings of Iengra village in 2019–2020, where 9–10 residents were present, and in Kudu-Kyuyel village in 2019, where 18 residents were present, of whom 54 percent were women. The events were recorded on audio media and in a field diary.

Assessment of the Impact on the Ethnological Environment

In Russia, there is a fundamentally different practice of ecological expertise in the implementation of industrial projects. The aim of ethnological impact assessments and the use of ecological expertise is to establish the compliance of documents justifying planned economic and other activities with environmental protection requirements (RF 1995). Thus, the external risks of the project and its impact on the natural environment are determined. The actions of extractive companies in promoting their projects in particular are always driven by profit, with social and cultural values taking second place to economic interests. Sofia Persson and colleagues (Persson et al. 2017) assert that, in addition to the negative social consequences of mining investments, environmental destruction remains an important issue.

In contrast to other countries, where social risks are considered in the general context of environmental assessments of design documentation in construction, in Russia the assessment of the impact on the cultural, social and economic environment of the local community in places of industrial development is separate from the industrial assessment of facilities. The current legislation understands the expertise as providing a scientific study of the impact of changes in the native environment of less-numerous peoples and the socio-cultural situation on the development of the ethnic group (RF 1999), which is called ethnological expertise. Although the terminology of ethnological expertise is accepted in the legislation, the mechanisms of its practical implementation are not fully defined, which makes it difficult for experts to communicate with stakeholders (Sadovoi and Poddubikov 2011). In our opinion, ethnological expertise is conditioned by the activity of industrial companies in specific regions, in particular in Eastern Siberia and the Far East.

More than 57.4 percent of indigenous minorities are concentrated in these constituent entities of Russia. According to research (Donahoe et al. 2008; Sidortsov et al. 2016), there are about two hundred nationalities in Russia, of which 130 can claim to be indigenous. In each of the regions, different procedures have been adopted for conducting ethnological examination. There is no procedure for ethnological examination in the national legislation (Baramidze 2019; Mostakhova 2018; Novikova 2017); therefore, each subject of the Russian Federation independently develops regulations and their application.

In the Sakhalin region, ethnological expertise is seen as a trilateral program between an industrial company, the regional administration, and the council of indigenous minorities (Novikova 2017). The program is implemented in the form of a “Plan of Assistance for the Development of Indigenous Minorities of the North” (Bazaleev 2012). At the regional level, Sakhalin Energy provides grants for the development of traditional economic activities and the social development of less-numerous peoples. Micro-loan programs are implemented. Grants are distributed by representatives of indigenous minorities between their citizens and organized associations (Tysiachniouk et al. 2018). In another example, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug maintains a register of subjects of traditional nature use. The region officially approved a model agreement which is signed by subsoil users with indigenous minorities. The subject of the agreement is industrial use of lands and its compensation for traditional nature use (Gorbunova 2021). Compensation measures include provision of fuel and lubricants, snowmobile equipment, boat engines, construction materials, as well as small aircraft services for transportation of food, children, and fishery products to nomadic areas and elsewhere.

In Yakutia, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) has a regional law, “On ethnological expertise in places of traditional residence and traditional economic activities and territories of traditional natural resource use of indigenous minorities of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic.” (SR 2010). This law establishes state ethnological expertise (Astakhova 2018). Preparation of materials for the ethnological impact assessment is carried out by scientific institutions at the request of an industrial company, which acts as the customer of the examination. These materials include reports on archaeological research, sacred sites, the situation of demography, education, local culture and language. All of the work related to field studies, calculating the amount of loss, and analyzing socio-economic development in places where indigenous minorities live are performed on the basis of contractual obligations concluded between the customer and the executor of the work (SR 2010; SR 2011). The prepared materials on the ethnological impact assessment and the project documentation of the facility are submitted to the authorized body for ethnological expertise. The customer transfers the funds to the budget to cover the state fee for organizing and conducting the ethnological examination. The authorized body conducts a competition to select the executor in accordance with current legislation on state and municipal procurement. The executor of ethnological expertise approves the composition of experts in five different areas of scientific specialization. The term of the expertise three months or more. Field research will include questionnaires and interviews, which are conducted over a short period of time. The expert panel decides whether the results of the work comply with the requirements of current federal and regional legislation (Basov 2018)

In turn, the expert group prepares a draft conclusion on the customer's project. Experts carry out work to identify the compliance of the project documentation and materials of the assessment of impact on the ethnological environment, or the accuracy of the calculation of losses. The draft conclusion contains a recommendation to the expert commission to make a positive or negative decision (SR 2011). The expert commission, established under the government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) by a collegial majority, makes a decision, which is approved by a decree of the government of the republic. Upon receipt of a positive conclusion, industrial companies submit a decree to the state expert review of design documentation and (or) results of engineering surveys. This document also makes it possible to conclude agreements on compensation payments between the subsoil user and the indigenous minorities.

Discussion

In our survey, 43 women took part; 25.6 percent of them were 26–35 years old, 34.9 percent were 36–45 years old, 4.7 percent were girls 18–25 years old, 16.3 percent were women 45–55 years old, and 18.6 percent were women over 56 years old. More than 82.9 percent of the interviewed women confirmed that they lived in their native village. The educational level of women was equally distributed (general secondary—34.9 percent, vocational secondary—30.2 percent, and higher education—30.2 percent), and 4.7 percent did not finish higher education. Over 45 percent of the women surveyed reported that they were married, of whom 67 percent had an indigenous spouse. Widows and unmarried women made up 21.6 percent each, and divorced women made up 10.8 percent. On average, rural residents had no more than three children.

Women were employed in budgetary institutions, kindergartens, libraries (see Figure 2), schools (see Figure 3), outpatient clinics, or first-aid stations. In agricultural production organizations and communities, they performed the role of domestic workers for reindeer herders, office specialists, accountants, and deputy managers. Among women, in addition to their main work in traditional crafts, they were engaged in gathering wild berries, and a small number were engaged in sewing clothes and shoes and dressing hides. In the surveyed villages, traditional trades primarily included hunting, fishing, and reindeer breeding.

Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Rural library in Kudu-Kyuel village (2019).

Citation: sibirica 22, 1; 10.3167/sib.2023.220106

Figure 3.
Figure 3.

G. M. Vasilevich Secondary General Education Boarding School in Iengra village (2022).

Citation: sibirica 22, 1; 10.3167/sib.2023.220106

In the survey, rural women were asked to “give an assessment of the activities of extractive companies on your life.” Of the total number of respondents, 48 percent answered “has a negative impact” and 44 percent answered “do not know.” Thus, half of the women agreed that industrialists had a negative impact on their lives and almost the same percentage were indifferent to what was happening. The majority of women understood that industrial waste has a destructive effect on their lives and their quality of life, while the second group showed indifference to the changing processes. In our opinion, indifference is manifested when a person is under constant oppression in terms of money, power in the family and at work, social status, various forms of discrimination in the work collective, and in other ways. In interviews, young women who participated in the survey in Kudu-Kyuyel village said that it was difficult for them to get a job, as they had no work experience and employers refused them because they might go on maternity leave for a child under three years. Therefore, young people were moving to cities with a wider labor market. Young women who managed to get a job were paid low wages. Annual increases in food prices and housing costs were not compensated with salary increases, and they were forced to borrow from relatives and banks.

The main threats mentioned by women in the survey were environmental and health deterioration, in particular deforestation, the death of reindeer, degradation of pastures, and the “barbaric approach” of industrial companies to everything around them. These fears were based on stereotypes, but they are grounded in reality. An observation of women's opinions and the way industrial companies have behaved on the ground in the areas studied over the past three years proves them right. Each year, the harvest of wild reindeer meat, elk, and fur is declining, and berry picking is declining. Hunters remain without work and without income.

Public discussions about industrial companies operating in territories of traditional ethnic heritage are considered by the local community as the initial way to create contacts, before which they often have little or no information about the investment projects being implemented or planned. Only at the discussions of EIA projects is it possible to involve industrial companies in the social and economic situation of the village and communities. The discussion process is a roundtable scenario in which the head of the local administration introduces the agenda of the meeting before a working group consisting of a representative of the industrial company and experts from the ethnological group (on average, two to three people). The expert groups used in Yakutia are often small in number, given the high and constantly increasing transportation costs. Rural settlements are located at a distance of more than a few kilometers to thousands of kilometers from Yakutsk, the center of scientific institutions in the region.

In 2019 and 2022, we attended and participated in the discussion of a project to construct a main gas pipeline through the territories of traditional nature use “Iengrinskii” and “Kindigirskii.” Local residents in Iengra village were more reticent, with many questions related primarily to the distribution of compensation payments among the communities themselves, as well as the prospect of building the southern route of the pipe. But in 2022 in the same village, when discussing auxiliary facilities to the main gas pipeline, questions were raised on the timing of commissioning, public access to the technological road under construction along the gas pipeline, and the lack of compensation payments for the previous facility. Most of the participants were men aged 35 to 60. A member of the people's assembly stated: “We should only discuss this project, and we won't consider the rest.” A woman working in the community raised her hand to ask a question, but no one reacted. Later, we chatted about her concerns. She wanted to know why the company was leaving trash behind and not cleaning it up. Several times we contacted the managers of that company, but they didn't respond, and only six months later did someone clean it up.

The main issues that the participants in discussions in the village of Kudu-Kyuyel pointed out were that the section of the gas pipeline passing through was very distant from the village and it was not yet having an effect on the population, but it might complicate hunting in those communities. The head of the women's NGO was more concerned about gold mining by Neryungri Metallik at the source of the Olekma River. The stream is a year-round source of drinking water for the population, and there are no other sources. As she said: “The fears of the population, first of all, are connected with deterioration of the condition of the river, the reduction in the stocks of fish, and the growth of morbidity in the population over the last years.”

While conducting the survey, we talked to the female employees of the school. They complained that their children hardly use their native language in conversation at home and at school, as there are no visible motives for its use. The head of the club told us that they “almost lost their native Evenki language; now we preserve what we can of the ancestral traditions and culture.” Land grabbing by industrial companies leads to the rejection of hunting areas and reindeer pastures. The traditional economy of indigenous peoples (reindeer breeding, hunting) suffers from loss of furs and wild ungulates, and the reduction of reindeer pastures. The language, customs, and rituals of the Evenks are often used in domestic reindeer herding and hunting. A hunter from the village of Kudu-Kyuyel said the following: “There will be no reindeer or sable, and there will we be no Evenks either.”

Only 16 percent of women from the total number of participants of the whole survey took part in these discussions. In the discussion in Kudu Kyuyel village (2019), mostly women participated and the activity of men was low, while in Iengra village, the situation was the opposite. The main part of the audience, which included men, was interested in the economic component—losses and benefits—while issues related to the social aspect were not considered. The study of the implementations of the socio-economic development program of Iengra village showed that every year industrial companies supported cultural events, and the preservation of the language was included in the state program of the region. The number of textbooks on native languages of indigenous peoples is growing in the region, and a lot of work on digitalization of the languages of the peoples of the North is being carried out. It turned out that the social aspects were being implemented in a sufficient volume. Women believe that the financial means to support culture and language are limited to sponsorship of large sports events, national holidays, and the publication of literature. Such material assistance is not commensurate with the environmental damage (deformed and littered land, destruction of fish spawning grounds, changes in the beds of rivers and streams) that industrial companies bring to their ancestral homelands.

Observations show that the rhetoric of the discussions varies depending on the situation and time, and also according to the gender composition of the participants. The active participation of women in public hearings is not an indicator that their proposals will be heard. The main moderators of meetings are usually male heads of municipalities. The dominance of managerial decisions made by men for the most part do not address issues such as the preservation of health, nature, the younger generation, or the preservation of language and traditional culture. As a result, discussions touch on issues that demonstrate economic losses (Pakhomov and Mostakhova 2018; Mostakhova 2017).

Women's activity in the public life of the village is based on helping children and youth, preserving the family and its free will, and striving to strengthen their position in society. As for the political segment of the regional elite, the proportion of women in public positions in the legislative bodies of the subjects of the Russian Federation is 17.4 percent, and in municipal positions it is up to 30.8 percent (Mikisha and Uspenskaia 2018). In studies of regions in western Russia (St. Petersburg, Leningrad, Rostov, and Kaliningrad regions) (Kolesnik 2009), the low representation of women in regional political processes is explained by a shift in interests towards family, domestic life, and the influence of cultural factors that determine expectations and self-identification regarding women's participation in the political sphere and purposefully building a career.

While working on the preparation of the ethnological impact assessment materials, we encountered women who led communities in Iengra village. In Kudu-Kyuyel village, only men led communities. Between 2019 and 2020, founding documents of 11 associations of indigenous minorities affecting the construction of the main gas pipeline were studied. In two communities, the management of activities was led by women. When talking to these female heads, we asked them why they became the head of the community. They indicated that the main reason was because men were constantly in the taiga, and tax reports needed to be submitted monthly. The woman takes responsibility for financial management and paperwork, while the man is busy producing food for the family, selling furs, and selling reindeer meat. In Russian law, tax returns and reports to the social insurance funds have to be submitted on a monthly basis. In this case, we are talking about small farms, where one family with relatives runs a traditional farm. The situation is different in large farms with more than two thousand head of cattle. Such farms are very high-cost, with limited income. In such conditions, centralization, hierarchy, and conservatism in the choice of management style strongly affect the final economic result of the farm, where the engine is a man.

Another factor affecting the low involvement of women in the management of the community is the cult of the man as the breadwinner of the family, which is at the core of the northern traditional culture of indigenous peoples of the North. In traditional family communications, it is important for women not to oppose but to agree with the opinion of the man, to run errands, and to keep up the appearance of the household members. Women are more conscious of family formation, children's education, and the health of family members. In the current market conditions, the stability of family income becomes a decisive factor when choosing a place of employment. A job in a budget organization is more reliable. In the traditional community organizations, the income is seasonal, while in municipal institutions and organizations the wages are received evenly throughout the year.

The Inequalities identified in the study are rooted in both gender and economic inequities in the use of natural resources on federal lands, and in the social inequalities of women throughout life. On the one hand, the ethnic minority stands against the industrial majority, and on the other hand, the priority is given to men for the welfare of the people and the family. The participants in the study talked in many ways about the social and economic inequality of women and the negative impact of extractivism. The “resource curse” prevents the economic and social development of the local community (Pavlova and Mikhailova 2019; Sulyandziga 2019), with opportunities for women being reduced rather than expanded due to the exodus of young people to large cities, the change in lifestyle from traditional to industrial (shift work), and narrowed prospects. Emerging social differences resulting from the change in living conditions under the influence of industry force women to change their jobs in the community to preferably stable jobs that can sustain their families.

Conclusion

Thus, we have seen that the negative influence of industrial companies generates a different kind of domination from economic to social in establishing relationships, characterized by a long period of adaptation of two different types of society (traditional and industrial).

In the traditional culture of northern peoples, women have an unequal position in relation to men. Industrial development aggravates this situation through changes in labor and the growth of social and economic problems in families. The role of the rural northern woman is limited by cultural traditions and the everyday life of the local community, as the leading role in economic and legal relations is mostly played by men. A considerable number of the women interviewed were subjected to discrimination in various spheres of life, which indicates the depressive attitude of rural society. According to the survey and interviews, women feel they face bias from employers as well as employees of industrial companies.

The EIA ethnological expertise discussions are the only place to start negotiations and to connect the local indigenous community with the industrialists. The tasks of the meeting focus on the economic relations between the “invaders” and the “oppressed” communities. The social problems of the local community are a consequence of the influence of extractivism. Women act to balance community sustainability for both social and economic benefits.

At the same time, the increasingly passive attitude toward life in the homelands where the objects of industry appear is primarily due to the exclusive supremacy of federal laws and the inability to change the status quo. In the regions of Russia, laws are adopted only within the framework of federal legislation; moreover, each sphere of state activity (education, ecology, forestry, industry, etc.) approves its own specific legislative acts within the framework of constitutional norms. Therefore, amending the law on environmental protection or the law on the protection of the rights and guarantees of indigenous peoples must include amendments to the laws on subsoil resources, hunting, fishing, specially protected natural areas, the land and forest code, education, culture, and local self-government; in other words, the modernization of the legal framework affects a great many areas. At the same time, each federal agency in charge of certain areas of the state has a different opinion on environmental issues and the protection of indigenous peoples, since not all regions are home to less-numerous indigenous peoples. Consequently, changing “for the better” for local indigenous communities requires a titanic effort and the concentration of a huge number of human resources.

The problems identified for local indigenous communities in the industrial development of their ancestral lands stem from forms of oppression, which are revealed in the experience of rural women. Of course, this article is only the beginning of a discussion of other forms of inequality. In the future, it may be interesting to look at issues related to the behavior and attitudes of local communities towards hunting and fishing during the industrial development of their traditional lands, to study the attitude of the population to national traditions, rituals, and sacred and ancestral sites in modern conditions. At the same time, we must also continue discussions and research regarding the effects of industrial development on traditional territories of indigenous peoples.

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  • Kolesnik, Natalia V. 2009. “Predstavitel'stvo Zhenshin v Regional'nikh Organakh Vlasti.” [Representation of women in regional government bodies] Vlast v Rossii: Eliti i Instituti, ed. Alexander V. Duca, 143160. St. Petersburg: Foundation “International Foundation for the Support of Sociological and Humanitarian Research and Educational Programs.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mikisha, Anastasia S., and Valentin I. Uspenskaia. 2018. “Problema Predstavlennosti Zhenshin v Organakh Vlasti.” [The problem of women's representation in government] Sotsial'no-Politicheskie Protsessi v Meniaiushimsia Mire: 18–23.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mostakhova, Tatiana S. 2017. “Vzaimodeistvie Kompanii-Nedropol'zovatelei i Korennikh Malochislennikh Narodov Severa: Opyt Etnologicheskoi Ekspertizi v Respublike Sakha (Iakutiia).” [Interaction between Subsoil Users and Indigenous Peoples of the North: Experience of Ethnological Expertise in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)] Paper presented at the conference Evropeiskaia Zona Rossiiskoi Arktiki: Scenarii Razvitia, Syktyvkar, 18–19 October 2017.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mostakhova, Tatiana S. 2018. “Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza v Respublike Sakha (Yakutia): Praktika i Problemi.” Severo-Vostochnii Gumanitarnii Vestnik 2 (230: 4755.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Novikova, Natalia N. 2017. “Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza v Rossiiskoi Federatsii: Pravovye Osnovaniia i Perspektivi dlia Korennikh Narodov.” [Ethnological Expertise in the Russian Federation: Legal Basis and Perspectives for Indigenous Peoples] Arktika XXI Vek: Gumanitarnie Nauki 3 (13): 420.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pakhomov, Aleksandr A, and Tatiana S. Mostakhova. 2018. “Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza: Metodologicheskie Podkhodi i Opyt Provedenia v Respublike Sakha (Iakutiia).” [Ethnological Expertise: Methodological Approaches and Experience in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)] Ustoichivii Sever: Obshchestvo, Ekonomika, Ekologiia, Politika: 374381.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pavlova, B. Maria, and Viktoria V. Mikhaylova. 2019. “Influence of the Industry on Traditional Economy: In the Context of Social and Economic Development of Rural Territories (on the Example of the Village of Iyengra of Neryungrinsky District of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).” Paper presented at the International Science and Technology Conference “EarthScience,” Russky Island, 10–12 December 2019. https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/459/6/062036.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Persson, Sofia, David Harnesk, and Mine Islar. 2017. “What Local People? Examining the Gállok Mining Conflict and the Rights of the Sámi Population in Terms of Justice and Power.” Geoforum 86 (November): https://doi.org/20–29.10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.08.009.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Potravni, Ivan M., and Olga A. Krivoshapkina. 2017. “Otsenka Vozdeistviia Dobivaiushikh Predpriiatii na Okruzhauiushuiu Sredu v Sostave Etnologicheskoi Ekspertizi Proekta.” [Assessment of the environmental impacts of extractive industries as part of the ethnological expertise of the project] Arktika: Istoria i Sovremennost, ed. Nikolai I. Didenko, 271278. St. Petersburg: OOO “Mediapapir.”

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RF. 1995. “Ob ekologicheskoi ekspertize” [About environmental expertise]. Law No. 174-F3, November 23, 1995.

  • RF. 1999. “O garantiiakh prav korennykh malochislennykh narodov Rossiiskoi Federatsii” [On guaranteeing the rights of Indigenous Small-Numbered Peoples of the Russian Federation]. Law No. 82-FZ, April 30, 1999.

  • RF. 2004. “Gradostroitel'skii kodeks Rossiiskoi federatsii” [Urban Planning Code of the Russian Federation], No.190-FZ, December 29, 2004.

  • Sadovoi, Aleksandr N., and Vladimir V. Poddubikov. 2011. “Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza v Praktike Regional'nogo Upravleniia: Opyt Kemerovskoi Oblasti.” [Ethnological expertise in the practice of regional management: The experience of the Kemerovo region] Vestnik Kemerovskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta 1 (45): 2226.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sidortsov, Roman, Aytalina Ivanova, and Florian Stammler. 2016. “Localizing Governance of Systemic Risks: A Case Study of the Power of Siberia Pipeline in Russia.” Energy Research & Social Science 16: 5468. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2016.03.021.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sinclair, Kate, Theresa Thompson-Colón, Alexandra Milena Bastidas-Granja, Sara Eloísa Del Castillo Matamoros, Eucaris Olaya, and Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez. 2022. “Women's Autonomy and Food Security: Connecting the Dots from the Perspective of Indigenous Women in Rural Colombia.” SSM—Qualitative Research in Health 2: 100078. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmqr.2022.100078.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SR. 2010. “Ob etnologicheskoi ekspertize v mestakh traditsionnogo prozhvaniia i traditsionnoi khoziaistvennoi deiatel'nosti korennykh malochislennykh narodov Severa Respubliki Sakha (Iakutia)” [On ethological expertise in places of traditional habitation and traditional economic activities of Indigenous Numerically-Small Peoples of the North of Sakha Republic (Yakutia)], Law N. 820-З N 537-IV, April 14, 2010.

  • SR. 2011. “O poriadke organizatsii i provedeniia etnologicheskoi ekspertizy v mestakh traditsionnogo prozhivaniia i traditsionnoi khoziaistvennoi deiatel'nosti korennykh malochislennykh narodov” [On arrangements for organizing and carrying out ethnological expertise in places of traditional dwelling and traditional economic activity of Small-Numbered Peoples]. Decree of the Government of SR No. 428, September 6, 2011.

  • Sulyandziga, Liubov. 2019. “Indigenous Peoples and Extractive Industry Encounters: Benefit-Sharing Agreements in Russian Arctic.” Polar Science 21 (September): 68–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polar.2018.12.002.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Timofeeva, L. V. 2014. “The role of a woman in the rituals of the Evenks.” Paper presented at the International Science Conference “Traditional culture of nomadic peoples in the system of Art Education,” Yakutsk, 22 March 2014, ed. Sargylana S. Ignatyeva, 260264.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tysiachniouk, Maria, Laura A. Henry, Machiel Lamers, and Jan P. M. van Tatenhove. 2018. “Oil and Indigenous People in Sub-Arctic Russia: Rethinking Equity and Governance in Benefit Sharing Agreements.” Energy Research & Social Science 37 (March): 140–152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2017.09.004.

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Contributor Notes

Maria Borisovna Pavlova has a PhD in Economics and is a leading researcher in the Department of Ethno-Social and Ethno-Economic Research of Geosystems, Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Email: mpavlova1997@gmail.com. ORCID 0000-0001-6312-7787.

Nyurgun Anatolievich Leontiev has a PhD (Technical Sciences) and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Radio Physics and Electronic Systems of the Faculty of Physics of the M. K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University. Email: leonza@mail.ru. ORCID 0000-0001-6312-7787.

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Sibirica

Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies

  • Figure 1.

    Map of the study areas in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) (Iengra village, Kudu-Kyuyel village)

  • Figure 2.

    Rural library in Kudu-Kyuel village (2019).

  • Figure 3.

    G. M. Vasilevich Secondary General Education Boarding School in Iengra village (2022).

  • Astakhova, Irina S. 2018. “Otnoshenie Naselenia k Novym Proektam Promishlennogo Osvoenia (Na Primere Etnologicheskikh Ekspertiz v Olenekskom Raione, RS(Y).” [The attitude of the population to new industrial development projects (on the example of ethnological examinations in the Olenek District) RS(Y)] Arktika i Sever v Sovremennikh Gumanitarnikh Issledovaniakh, ed. Natalia I. Burnasheva,: 63–74. Yakutsk: Institute of Humanitarian Research and Problems of the Small Peoples of the North, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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  • Baramidze, David D. 2019. “Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza v Rossiiskoi Arktike: Ekologo-Pravovoi Aspekt.” [Ethnological Expertise in the Russian Arctic: The Ecological and Legal Aspect.] Vestnik Udmurtskogo Universiteta 29 (2): 174179.

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  • Basov, Aleksandr S. 2018. “Dialog i Biurokraticheskie Protseduri: Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza v Respublike Sakha (Yakutia).” [Dialogue and bureaucratic procedures: ethnological expertise in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).] Sibiriskie Istoricheskie Issledovaniia 2: 91123.

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  • Bazaleev, Oleg A. 2012. “Problemi Likvidnosti Sotsial'nogo Kapitala v Programmakh Razvitia Korennikh Malochislennikh Narodov Severa Sakhalina.” [Problems of Social Capital Liquidity in Sakhalin Indigenous Minority Development Programs.] Etnograficheskoe Obozrenie 1: 121132.

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  • Donahoe, Brian, J. Otto Habeck, Agnieszka Halemba, and Istvan Santha. 2008. “Size and Place in the Construction of Indigeneity in the Russian Federation.Current Anthropology 49 (6): 9931020. https://doi.org/10.1086/593014

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  • Fetisova, E.I., A. I. Pichina, and N. N. Naumova. 2016. “The role of indigenous women in preserving traditions.” Proceedings of BrGU. Series: Humanities and social sciences, 2016, 9698.

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  • Gorbunova, Antonina I. 2021. “Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza v Rossii.” [Ethnological expertise in Russia] Arktika 2035: Aktual'nie Voprosi, Problemi, Reshenia 3 (7): 97104. https://doi.org/10.51823/74670_2021_3_97.

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  • Jenkins, Katy. 2014. “Women, Mining and Development: An Emerging Research Agenda.The Extractive Industries and Society 1 (2): 329339. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2014.08.004

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    • Export Citation
  • Kolesnik, Natalia V. 2009. “Predstavitel'stvo Zhenshin v Regional'nikh Organakh Vlasti.” [Representation of women in regional government bodies] Vlast v Rossii: Eliti i Instituti, ed. Alexander V. Duca, 143160. St. Petersburg: Foundation “International Foundation for the Support of Sociological and Humanitarian Research and Educational Programs.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mikisha, Anastasia S., and Valentin I. Uspenskaia. 2018. “Problema Predstavlennosti Zhenshin v Organakh Vlasti.” [The problem of women's representation in government] Sotsial'no-Politicheskie Protsessi v Meniaiushimsia Mire: 18–23.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mostakhova, Tatiana S. 2017. “Vzaimodeistvie Kompanii-Nedropol'zovatelei i Korennikh Malochislennikh Narodov Severa: Opyt Etnologicheskoi Ekspertizi v Respublike Sakha (Iakutiia).” [Interaction between Subsoil Users and Indigenous Peoples of the North: Experience of Ethnological Expertise in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)] Paper presented at the conference Evropeiskaia Zona Rossiiskoi Arktiki: Scenarii Razvitia, Syktyvkar, 18–19 October 2017.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mostakhova, Tatiana S. 2018. “Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza v Respublike Sakha (Yakutia): Praktika i Problemi.” Severo-Vostochnii Gumanitarnii Vestnik 2 (230: 4755.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Novikova, Natalia N. 2017. “Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza v Rossiiskoi Federatsii: Pravovye Osnovaniia i Perspektivi dlia Korennikh Narodov.” [Ethnological Expertise in the Russian Federation: Legal Basis and Perspectives for Indigenous Peoples] Arktika XXI Vek: Gumanitarnie Nauki 3 (13): 420.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pakhomov, Aleksandr A, and Tatiana S. Mostakhova. 2018. “Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza: Metodologicheskie Podkhodi i Opyt Provedenia v Respublike Sakha (Iakutiia).” [Ethnological Expertise: Methodological Approaches and Experience in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)] Ustoichivii Sever: Obshchestvo, Ekonomika, Ekologiia, Politika: 374381.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pavlova, B. Maria, and Viktoria V. Mikhaylova. 2019. “Influence of the Industry on Traditional Economy: In the Context of Social and Economic Development of Rural Territories (on the Example of the Village of Iyengra of Neryungrinsky District of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).” Paper presented at the International Science and Technology Conference “EarthScience,” Russky Island, 10–12 December 2019. https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/459/6/062036.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Persson, Sofia, David Harnesk, and Mine Islar. 2017. “What Local People? Examining the Gállok Mining Conflict and the Rights of the Sámi Population in Terms of Justice and Power.” Geoforum 86 (November): https://doi.org/20–29.10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.08.009.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Potravni, Ivan M., and Olga A. Krivoshapkina. 2017. “Otsenka Vozdeistviia Dobivaiushikh Predpriiatii na Okruzhauiushuiu Sredu v Sostave Etnologicheskoi Ekspertizi Proekta.” [Assessment of the environmental impacts of extractive industries as part of the ethnological expertise of the project] Arktika: Istoria i Sovremennost, ed. Nikolai I. Didenko, 271278. St. Petersburg: OOO “Mediapapir.”

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RF. 1995. “Ob ekologicheskoi ekspertize” [About environmental expertise]. Law No. 174-F3, November 23, 1995.

  • RF. 1999. “O garantiiakh prav korennykh malochislennykh narodov Rossiiskoi Federatsii” [On guaranteeing the rights of Indigenous Small-Numbered Peoples of the Russian Federation]. Law No. 82-FZ, April 30, 1999.

  • RF. 2004. “Gradostroitel'skii kodeks Rossiiskoi federatsii” [Urban Planning Code of the Russian Federation], No.190-FZ, December 29, 2004.

  • Sadovoi, Aleksandr N., and Vladimir V. Poddubikov. 2011. “Etnologicheskaia Ekspertiza v Praktike Regional'nogo Upravleniia: Opyt Kemerovskoi Oblasti.” [Ethnological expertise in the practice of regional management: The experience of the Kemerovo region] Vestnik Kemerovskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta 1 (45): 2226.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sidortsov, Roman, Aytalina Ivanova, and Florian Stammler. 2016. “Localizing Governance of Systemic Risks: A Case Study of the Power of Siberia Pipeline in Russia.” Energy Research & Social Science 16: 5468. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2016.03.021.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sinclair, Kate, Theresa Thompson-Colón, Alexandra Milena Bastidas-Granja, Sara Eloísa Del Castillo Matamoros, Eucaris Olaya, and Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez. 2022. “Women's Autonomy and Food Security: Connecting the Dots from the Perspective of Indigenous Women in Rural Colombia.” SSM—Qualitative Research in Health 2: 100078. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmqr.2022.100078.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SR. 2010. “Ob etnologicheskoi ekspertize v mestakh traditsionnogo prozhvaniia i traditsionnoi khoziaistvennoi deiatel'nosti korennykh malochislennykh narodov Severa Respubliki Sakha (Iakutia)” [On ethological expertise in places of traditional habitation and traditional economic activities of Indigenous Numerically-Small Peoples of the North of Sakha Republic (Yakutia)], Law N. 820-З N 537-IV, April 14, 2010.

  • SR. 2011. “O poriadke organizatsii i provedeniia etnologicheskoi ekspertizy v mestakh traditsionnogo prozhivaniia i traditsionnoi khoziaistvennoi deiatel'nosti korennykh malochislennykh narodov” [On arrangements for organizing and carrying out ethnological expertise in places of traditional dwelling and traditional economic activity of Small-Numbered Peoples]. Decree of the Government of SR No. 428, September 6, 2011.

  • Sulyandziga, Liubov. 2019. “Indigenous Peoples and Extractive Industry Encounters: Benefit-Sharing Agreements in Russian Arctic.” Polar Science 21 (September): 68–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polar.2018.12.002.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Timofeeva, L. V. 2014. “The role of a woman in the rituals of the Evenks.” Paper presented at the International Science Conference “Traditional culture of nomadic peoples in the system of Art Education,” Yakutsk, 22 March 2014, ed. Sargylana S. Ignatyeva, 260264.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tysiachniouk, Maria, Laura A. Henry, Machiel Lamers, and Jan P. M. van Tatenhove. 2018. “Oil and Indigenous People in Sub-Arctic Russia: Rethinking Equity and Governance in Benefit Sharing Agreements.” Energy Research & Social Science 37 (March): 140–152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2017.09.004.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

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