ICR and WRH Celebrate Reindeer and Herders in Topolinoe, Sakha
Between 31 March to 2 April in the village of Topolinoe (Tomponsky ulus, Sakha Republic) during the annual Reindeer Herders Day celebrations (which are held across Russia) there were special celebrations of the 85th anniversary of Vasily Mikhailovich Kladkin’. He was a well known ‘Hero of Socialist Labor’ and an ‘Honored Worker of Agriculture’.
Kladkin Vasily Mikhailovich (10.01.1931-27.05.2003) was a reindeer herder and Director of the sovkhoz. Not only are the residents of Topolinoe proud of him, but also the entire Republic. Under his leadership, the kolkhoz “Tomponsky” achieved outstanding success with regard to its economic indicators in the field of reindeer husbandry. Through effective organization and an intensive pre-slaughter fattening of reindeer, there was an increase in meat production and meat quality specifically and more generally, an improved local and regional economy and livelihood.
Today, he is remembered as a strong leader, who was the main initiator of the establishment of Topolinoe village. Guests from different districts of the Republic came to the celebration of Reindeer Herders’ Day. The event was also attended by Anders Oskal (Executive Director of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry), Svein Mathiesen – Professor, UArctic EALAT Institute, Svetlana Avelova International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and Mikhail Pogodaev, Chair of the Board of the Associaion of World Reindeer Herders and Executive Director of the Northern Forum. Their trip was organized as a part of celebration of the 25th anniversary of reindeer herders’ international cooperation, as well as the 10th anniversary of the founding of the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry.
The WRH and ICR delegations program was extensive. On March 31 a seminar was held on EALLU project, which was attended by reindeer herders and students from a branch of the Arctic College of Indigenous Peoples. On the same day, the delegation was invited to a reindeer herders’ camp of Brigade №12 of the “Tompo” cooperative. On the next day there was a round table entitled “Prospects for the Development of Reindeer Husbandry”, chaired by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Policy of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) – Petr Nikolaevich Alekseev. The events were completed by the celebration of Reindeer Herders’ Day, which traditionally takes place on the Tompo river.
It is worth to noting that in 1990, the first international connections between Sami and Even reindeer herders happened in Topolinoe. Professor Svein Mathiesen was also part of that delegation 25 years ago who each time remembers with warm words his first visit to Russia, which is undoubtedly connected with the memories of Vasily Kladkin. The Association of World Reindeer Herders and the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry would like to thank the organizers of the events and hope that the international contacts between reindeer herders will grow and develop further!
See a photo gallery from the trip here.