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No. 4, 2012

Maria Kotova


JSC LUKOIL-Western Siberia has for many years been helping maintain the traditions of the northern peoples

For the purpose of preserving the environment and developing the traditional way of life of the Khanty, Mansy, Nenets and Selkup peoples, JSC LUKOIL-Western Siberia concludes agreements with the heads of tribal lands on socioeconomic development of the regions and places of habitation of the indigenous small peoples of the North. Matters relating to the interrelations between the company and the indigenous peoples are decided at meetings between the management and representatives of the Assembly of indigenous small peoples of the North, chief of municipalities and heads of tribal lands. The company actively cooperates with the "Save of Yugra" public organization and the "Yamal for Descendants" association.

In tune with nature

The most numerous of the small peoples of the North are the Nenets, of whom there are over 24, 000 living throughout the territory of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area (YNAA), both along the shores of the Arctic Ocean and in its more southerly regions. "Tundra" Nenets live in the tundra and engage mainly in reindeer breeding. The national specifics of this occupation are year-round pasturing of reindeer, monitored by reindeer herders and reindeer herding dogs. Further south, along the Pur and Taz rivers, live "forest" Nenets, who engage in transport reindeer herding, hunting and fishing. The nomadic population is constantly moving across the tundra or the foothills of the Urals. Their collapsible reindeer skin tents are ideally suited for this. In the summer, the Nenets cover their tents with specially dressed birch bark or fabric and, in the winter, the warmth is retained within them by a thick layer of reindeer skins.

The Khanty are the next most numerous indigenous people living in the Area. They reside along the Ob river, the Shuryshkar and pre-Urals regions, where the main lands are located for their traditional seminomadic hunting and fishing lifestyle, though in the north they also breed reindeer.

The third biggest people living in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area are the Selkup. They reside quite compactly in the Krasnoselkupsky District, in the middle reaches of the River Taz, where thick taiga grows on elevations. The Selkup are mostly hunters and fishermen.

The Mansy are an indigenous people of the Khanty-Mansy Autonomous Area - Yugra. They are the closest relatives of the Khanty and also live by hunting a variety of game and processing pelts.

In the Khanty-Mansy Autonomous Area - Yugra in the regions where the company operates, there are 39 areas of traditional nature resource use by the Khanty and Mansy peoples, consisting of 175 families numbering 847 people. The interrelations with the heads of the tribal lands are based on licensing agreements and agreements on socioeconomic development of the regions. At the same time, account is taken of all the interests and wishes of the representatives of the indigenous peoples of the North.

The Western Siberian oil producers consider it their important task to preserve the unique lifestyle, language and culture of the indigenous peoples. Together with the municipalities, the company builds educational institutions, assists in improvement of local places of worship, and sponsors national festivals.

In April 2012, for instance, in Kogalym, a celebration was held for the sixth time with support from JSC LUKOIL-Western Siberia to mark Reindeer herder day, which gathered about 70 Khanty families living on the area where the Company operates.

Within the scope of the event, a "National Family" was chosen. The audience watched with interest the competitions in national sports - jumping over sledges, lassoing poles, as well as reindeer racing. A retail market opened its doors for the celebration's guests, with Khanty craftswomen offering souvenirs and national dishes of the small indigenous peoples of the North.

Doing good

The company builds housing for the Khanty and Mansy people in national villages and their traditional habitats, provides them with apartments in the towns of Langepas, Uray, Kogalym and Pokachi. Electricity and roads are brought up to tribal camps and fresh water is brought in. For their traditional occupations, the heads of tribal lands are provided with boats, motors, snowmobiles and gasoline-driven power saws, electricity stations, fuel, lubricants and building materials.

LUKOIL-Western Siberia takes part in educating students from among the indigenous peoples of the North who live on the territory of the Tazovsky and Purovsky Districts in oil industry subjects. After becoming professional oil workers, the young specialists from among the local population enjoy priority in being hired to work for the company's subdivisions. Every Nenets now has the choice of continuing to live the traditional way of life or obtaining a profession and producing oil and gas.

Considerable attention is also focused on health - regular medical checks are made, sanatorium and spa vouchers are allocated, and free dental care is provided. For the purpose of improving the quality of healthcare in the national village of Agan, a doctor's out-patient surgery has been built.

In the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area, the company actively participates in implementing the program entitled "Preservation of the traditional way of life and cultural legacy of the indigenous small peoples of the North." The traditional way of life for the reindeer breeders consists of year-round pasturing of reindeer, hunting and fishing. In order not to disrupt the original way of life of the Khanty and the Nenets, LUKOIL-Western Siberia invests substantial amounts in making production environment-friendly.

Over the years of cooperation in the Tazovsky District, where the Nakhodkinskoye and Pyakhyakhinskoye fields are located, LUKOIL-Western Siberia has financed construction of a boarding school for 100 children and housing in the village of Nakhodka, and capital repairs to the Teremok kindergarten in the village of Tazovsky. Messo housing structures, where families of indigenous northern peoples now live, were allocated.

Within the scope of the 2010 Cooperation Agreement, a Russian Orthodox church was built, as well as a 4-apartment block in the village of Nakhodka and a 12-apartment block in the village of Gyda; housing underwent capital repairs; and five mobile homes were purchased for the tundra people to live in. In 2011, within the scope of implementing long-term target programs for agroindustrial business development and "Culture, language, traditional way of life of the indigenous small peoples of the North" in the Tazovsky District for 2011-2013, 17 million rubles were allocated. JSC LUKOIL-Western Siberia contributed 10 million rubles to building a nursing and midwife point in Nakhodka. Another three million rubles were spent on the Nakhodka infrastructure.

The territory of the Tazovsky District is huge and many of the settlements located there can only be reached by helicopter. Here again, LUKOIL-Western Siberia helped by financing one of the most expensive items - flight hours.

Assistance in providing these is extended to the office in charge of the outreach to the population of intersettlement territories and traditional occupations of the Tazovsky District Administration and to the rural consumer society Union of Communities Tasu-Yava. Funds are allocated for these and other organizations to buy fuel and lubricants, snowmobiles and diesel generators.

"The tundra is for all those who come in peace" runs the local folk saying. And the socially responsible work of LUKOIL-Western Siberia is welcomed by the local population. Not by chance is LUKOIL-Western Siberia the first company in Russia to be awarded the title "Best industrial company of the Russian Federation for work with the indigenous population." In the competition "Black Gold of Yugra," held by the Government of the Khanty-Mansy Autonomous Area, the company has repeatedly won in the category "For cooperation with the indigenous population." The Assembly of the small indigenous peoples of the North has frequently noted the company's positive experience of well established relations with the indigenous people.

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Oil of Russia, No. 4, 2012
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