(2001) JLP 46: 185-194
TRADITIONAL USE OF NATURAL RESOURCES BY THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF THE NORTH IN THE MODERN WORLD:
A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS
Under the attack of industrial civilization the indigenous peoples of the Far North are liable to become involved in the competition for resources according to the laws of the market economy. If they do so they will inevitably pass from traditional use of natural resources to industrial use, and become economically and so culturally and genetically assimilated, with disastrous consequences for them and the environment. The development of a legal basis for the preservation of the indigenous peoples of the Far North must avoid a number of dangers: that the struggle to preserve ethnic integrity will be displaced by a struggle over priority in the right to use natural resources, with elements in the industrial civilization using indigenous peoples as tools to achieve their own interests; that indigenous peoples will destroy their natural resources for quick gain; of lumpenization of indigenous peoples; of their involvement in the criminalization of Russian society; of excessive concentration on the priority right to dispose of land, rather than on the legal protection of natural resources; and of the imposition of intolerable loads on the environment through population growth. In the light of this analysis conditions and approaches for a future policy are outlined.