(2001) JLP 46: 157-164
THE RUSSIAN WAY OF SELF-DETERMINATION OF THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLES OF THE NORTH: HYPOTHESES FOR DEVELOPMENT
Current Russian legislation contains a certain legal basis for securing the status of small-numbered aboriginal peoples, but does not meet the demands of aboriginals and their public organizations for the legal securing of their rights to land and self-government. The aboriginal community in Russia is diverse, and for many aborigines the issues of self-government are not vital. Their cultural rights and interests could be given effect within the framework of current law. This possibility is considered in relation to the small indigenous groups in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. The discussion considers the four draft federal laws to regulate aspects of the life of indigenous peoples in the North: On the Legal Status of Small-Numbered Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North, On Reindeer Farming, On General Principles of Organizing Communes of Small-Numbered Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East, and On the Territories of Traditional Nature Use. In the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug the local self-government unit recognised by local legislation is the Commune. While some communes have been established, they are encountering difficulties because of local opposition and national policies. Insufficient research has been done to gain them sufficient attention.