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Meetings Ongoing with Sakhalin Indigenous People

Meetings attended by sixty representatives of Sakhalin indigenous minorities have been held in six more communities to discuss Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities Development Plan (SIMDP).

At the meeting in Chir-Unvd, Tymovsk District, the participants drew special attention of the SIMDP partners - Sakhalin Energy, Sakhalin Government and Regional Council of Sakhalin Indigenous Minorities - to the problems encountered by indigenous people's traditional businesses and asked for financing focus to be shifted from the tribal and community businesses to the projects of individuals. The participants spoke highly about the projects that support professional trainings of young people.

Representatives of the Nogliki and Tymovskoye indigenous communities thanked the Company for its support to indigenous people and expressed appreciation of the Company’s efforts to preserve the indigenous people's culture, languages and traditions. The participants of the meetings held in Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsky, Viakhtu and Trambaus noted that many problems could not be property addressed due to the remoteness of these locations. Lack of adequate communication creates difficulties in establishing formal communities, which makes obtaining grants problematic. Also, indigenous people's delegates from remote villages talked about what they wished to be done as part of certain social development programmes, such as Health and Education.

 Irina Maltseva, the Principal of the Viakhtu school, in which the Culture programme had been successfully implemented, commented: “It is important to foster our children's imagination and promote love for local culture, traditions and customs, as well as to open up creativity in each student, which is made possible by SIMDP. Our school plans to take part in the Inheritors of Traditions festival.”
Tatiana Yavgus, whose son is an Education scholarship winner, said the scholarship had been a great driver for her son's successful studies at the Bonch-Bruevich St. Petersburg State University of Telecommunications.

Elena Dinokova, representing the Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsky District in the Social Development Fund Committee, highlighted the need for capacity-building projects under the Traditional Economic Activities Support Programme (TEASP), noting that the public meetings of this kind were very important for developing awareness in local residents, for discussing their issues and providing consultations to groups and individuals how to develop projects under a grant programme and how to file applications.

Ludmila Yuldasheva, a member of SIMDP Board representing Viakhtu, thanked the Public Meetings Team for their integrated support to Sakhalin indigenous minorities at remote locations and for living up to their promises.

The SIMDP partners once again reminded the meeting participants that the action plans for SIMDP implementation were expected to be based, among other things, on inputs from local residents. In 2020, a Working Group will be established to develop the 4th SIMDP. As part of engagements with local communities, the Working Group members will take on board all proposals and comments from Sakhalin indigenous people at all their traditional residence locations.

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9 February 2019

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