Don’t Call Me a Koryak!

September 3, 2010 • Philip BurgessBlog

Seems a strange thing for the Russian PM, Vladimir Putin to say, but he was calling for the elaboration of rules that would prevent outsiders from moving into the North, declaring they are members of one or another of the numerically small peoples there, and claiming the special benefits these groups enjoy. At a meeting yesterday devoted to the development of the Russian fishing industry, Putin directed Russian officials to address this problem that few outsiders even knew existed, one that activists of these people say is restricting much-needed opportunities for these communities (see RAIPON article Самозванцам закроют путь в коренные народы Севера).

Please don’t list me as a Koryak. I am a Russian. My ancestors from the 18th century lived in Tver guberniya and over these centuries went to the same church. I ask you to develop up to date, correct and civilized rules that don’t offend ethnic feelings or limit the rights of the indigenous peoples

While this has been an issue highlighted around indigenous peoples who fish and not one that has been connected to reindeer husbandry, this of course may change over time and Putin was not referring to Koryak reindeer herders but people claiming to be Koryak to gain access to fishing and hunting rights and takes special import when the census of indigenous peoples is now underway. See Reindeer Blog Story here.

Source: KAMCITY, WindowsonEurasia,