World Reindeer Herders Congress

Getting ready for the 7th World Reindeer Herders Congress

February 4, 2019 • Alena Gerasimova

Delegation from the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra (KhMAO), the host of the next World Reindeer Herders Congress of 2021, held a work trip to Norway to participate in the Arctic Frontiers 2019 in Tromso and visited headquarters of the Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH) in Kautokeino. The delegation was composed of Sergey Filatov – Director of the Department of Subsoil Use and Natural Resources, and Alexander Komissarov – Deputy Director of the Department of the Subsoil Use and Natural Resources, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra. 

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Governor’s Cup in Traditional Rowing were held in Khanty-Mansiysk

July 5, 2018 • Alena Gerasimova

July 1st has summed up the results of the international competitions for the Governor’s Cup in rowing in Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District, Russia.  This year, for the title of the strongest rower, almost 200 athletes from Ugra, Yamal and Tyumen region fought without a small amount. The guests and observers of the event were representatives of 16 countries – Hungary, China, Norway, Brazil, Iran, Spain, Canada, Congo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Niger, Portugal, USA, France, Malaysia and Poland.

Over the course of two days the participants of the competitions showed the best in personal disciplines, mass start, in races in pairs and trios, relay race, mass start-up standing, and also demonstrated mastery of rowing of the region. It is noteworthy that this year in the most technically complex form of races – the race standing – not only men but also women took part. In addition to the main competitions, traditional games and entertainments of the indigenous peoples of the North were organized in the framework of the holiday: jumping over sledges, tugging on a reindeer hide, throwing a lasso to a trot, shooting from a traditional bow and others. Anyone could also try his hand at making a national doll from cloth, painting on wood and even in creating a traditional row-boat.

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Programme for 6th World Reindeer Herders Congress Released

August 14, 2017 • Philip Burgess

The final programme for the World Reindeer Herders’ Congress of 2017, being held this week in the village of Jokkmokk, in Sweden, has just been released. The professional part of the programme includes talks on the multiple themes of the Congress which include Culinary Traditions, Food Culture and Youth; Land Use Change and Fragmentation; Traditional handicrafts; Health of Humans and Animals; Education, Research and Management; and a side trip to the Laponia national park where talks related to the theme of Biodiversity, climate change and Protected Areas will be held.

See below


6th World Reindeer Herders Congress – Dates Announced

February 22, 2017 • Philip Burgess

The 6th World Reindeer Herders Congress will take place in the Sámi village of Jokkmokk in northern Sweden between August 16-20, 2017. 

The Congress occurs every four years (the last Congress was held in China) and brings council  members of the Association of World Reindeer Herders from all around the world together. There will be a a host of meetings, scientific sessions and cultural sessions and the event promises to be a great celebration of reindeer and reindeer peoples.

The registration form is now on the 6WRHC website and the draft programme has also been posted here.

Visit to keep updated…


Reindeer Herders Congress Update – Travel Arrangements in China

May 30, 2013 • Philip Burgess

5th world reindeer congressThe local organizers of the 5th World Reindeer Herders Congress has made an agreement with local travel service providers; Bofeng Airservice, to help the Congress’ participants with booking domestic flights and hotels in China. If anyone wants to stay few days for vacation in Bejing after the Congress, this company can help with bookings.

Contact persons:
1. Ms. Weichen Li
Email address:
Tel: +86 10 64458899, ext 637

2. Mr. Jianhua Liu
Email address:
Tel: +86 10 64423757

Both are English speaking.

Be sure to check the Congress Document Centre for the latest documents related to the Congress.


Revisit the First Reindeer Peoples’ Festival in Tromso, 1993

April 30, 2013 • Philip Burgess

Reindeer Peoples Festival 1993With the fall of the ‘Iron Curtain’ and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the global family of reindeer herding peoples was again able to meet, communicate, network and collaborate. The first reindeer peoples festival was held in Tromso, Norway in 1993 and reindeer peoples from across the circumpolar region gathered together for the first time. Through this collaboration the Association of World Reindeer Herders was consolidated and the cycle of World Reindeer Herders’ Congresses was initiated, which this year will be held in Genhe/Alougoya, in Northeast China, July 25-8. Previous Congresses have been held in Inari, Yakutsk and Kautokeino.

You can now review the historic first meeting through a fascinating photo journal that was compiled after this first event. The guest of honour was the renowned ethnographer and adventurer, Thor Heyerdahl. There were meetings, speeches and a number of cultural events such as concert which featured Nils Aslak Valkeapaa and a sporting event, the World Lassoo Throwing Championships, a keenly fought competition that continues to this day. Participants came from 12 regions in Russia and 7 countries.

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Open Invitation to the 5th World Reindeer Herders Congress

April 16, 2013 • Philip Burgess

5th world reindeer congressThe 5th World Reindeer Herders Congress will be held this summer (July 25-28) in Alougoya in the Genhe region in Inner Mongolia in North Eastern China. This is the first time that the Congress, which brings reindeer herding peoples from around the world together every four years. The event will be hosted by Evenki herders who are China’s only reindeer herding peoples.

The Congress is organised by the Association of World Reindeer Herders (WRH) in cooperation with the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry. International cooperation in reindeer husbandry in modern times dates back to 1993 with the Reindeer Peoples’ Festival in Tromsø, Norway. Previous congresses have been held in Nadym, Russia, Inari, Finland, Yakutsk, Russia and Kautokeino, Norway.

Open invitation to the 5th World Reindeer Herders Congress


5th World Reindeer Herders Congress – New Congress Website

February 10, 2013 • Philip Burgess

The Association of World Reindeer Herders, in collaboration with the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry is pleased to announce that a dedicated part of the redesigned Reindeer Portal has been allocated to the forthcoming 5th World Reindeer Herders Congress which will be held in Genhe/Alougoya in north west China in July of 2013.

Details for this exciting and unique Congress will be posted here as they become available –


World’s Largest Gathering of Reindeer Herders in Norway

March 28, 2009 • Philip Burgess


The last minute preparations for the largest gathering of reindeer herders in the world are now underway. The Association of World Reindeer Herders is holding its 4 yearly congress in Kautokeino / Guovdageaidnu in the heart of the Sami reindeer herding region. Most reindeer herding delegates will arrive on Sunday, March 29 and are hailing from Norway, Sweden, Finland, several regions in Russia, Mongolia and China.
There will be a week of exciting activities including science, spectacle and traditional knowledge with local reindeer herders portraying resilience through art, yoik, performance and of course reindeer herding.