Socioeconomic factors of life and social wellbeing of indigenous peoples of the North leading the nomadic and semi-nomadic lifestyle are studied in Yamal. Much analytical work is fulfilled in the scientific center for study of the Arctic; data for research are collected in tundra in reindeer herders’ camps, trading stations and others. In 2016-2017 they were held in Yamalskiy district, in 2018 — in Tazovskiy, in April this year employees of the center worked in Priuralskiy district.
A sociologist from Yamal, a researcher of the center for study of the Arctic Valery Kibenko, who is participating in the international scientific conference “Tyumen region: historical retrospective, realities of the present, contours of the future”, will present the materials of the field research to the scientific community. He will participate in the roundtable “Exploration of Tyumen sector of the Arctic”.
The large amount of information was collected during the field stages of scientific work, as the scientific center for study of the Arctic reports. The key groups of factors that significantly influence on life and economic activity of reindeer herders are identified. The first group includes factors related to life-sustaining nature management: reindeer capacity (balance between state of pastures, livestock size and grazing technology), climate and industrial influence. The second group includes socioeconomic factors: the situation on the market of reindeer-herding products, the level of income, life strategies of parents and children.
“Life activity of reindeer herders as a stable social group is a multifactor model, in which strengthening or weakening of certain factors or their combination lead to significant changes in their lives”, the sociologist explained. – “For example, a good price, demand for velvet antlers and absence of slaughter points change the production model of reindeer husbandry from mainly meat to velvet antler. Such institutional factors as legislation, social policy had positive influence on demography of indigenous ethnic minorities of the North, but in the present led to increase in tundra population, growth of reindeer livestock. Climate anomalies over the past 10 years contribute to starvation and excess mortality of livestock, leaving some families unable to travel around tundra, making them settle on banks of rivers and lakes. Life strategies of tundra-dwellers are also changing. If before it was difficult to collect children in boarding schools, now parents want children to receive, as some say, “the highest” education. Reindeer herders, like all parents, wish the best for their children. But at the same time, towns and settlements are not ready to provide tundra youth with work and housing. The difficulty lies in the fact that there are no easy solutions in finding the balance between traditions and civilization.
Photos can be found here: https://sever-press.ru/2019/09/20/pochemu-menjajutsja-zhiznennye-strategii-tundrovikov/