The Forest is My Planet: Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change. Part 1
Text and illustrations: Elena Sakirko
A person does not belong to a place until there is someone dead under the ground.
Gabriel García Márquez
The forest as a living being
Photo from the personal archive of Polina Shulbaeva, Novy Vasyugan village, Tomsk region
In the photo - Galina Tuymesheva (from the personal archive), the village of Yailu and its environs, the Republic of Altai - photo Elena Sakirko
The river as life
Animals as totems
The article was written on the basis of materials from 9 interviews with representatives of indigenous peoples (conducted in December 2021). Interview participants:
Polina Shulbaeva is a member of the Selkup people and native of the village of Vasyugan in Tomsk Oblast. Now Polina lives in Tomsk, where she came to study when she was 16 years old, but every summer, for holidays and weekends, she goes to her relatives. Polina is the coordinator of activities in the field of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, the Center for Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North, and a member of international working groups under the CBD, IFFCS, IPBES and others.
Daria Egereva, Natalya Izhenbina and Yulia Gorbacheva are members of the Selkup people, originally from the village of Ivankino in Tomsk Oblast. In addition, they represent the regional organization "Union of Indigenous Peoples of the North of the Tomsk Region", which includes several local organizations and people from different parts of Tomsk region. Now Daria lives in Moscow and is a member of the Center for Support of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East, as well as the representative of indigenous peoples on the UN platform on climate change. Natalya and Yulia still spend a lot of time in Ivankino. For the winter, Yulia leaves for Togur (Kolpashevsky district of the Tomsk region), Natalya - for Kolpashevo, where she leads the creative association "Tussayoka" (Sparkle). She teaches the Selkup language and culture. With women, they sew souvenirs and participate in fairs.
Vyacheslav Shadrin is a member of the Yukagir people. Vyacheslav was born and raised in the village of Nelemnoye in the Verkhnekolymsky ulus of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). Currently he lives in Yakutsk and is the Vice President of the Association of Indigenous Minorities of the North of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
Ivan Ivanov is a member of the Komi people, currently he lives in the oil-extracting village of Nizhny Odes, where he moved in early childhood. Now he heads the Save Pechora Committee, an environmental non-profit organization working in the Pechora River basin.
Galina Tuymesheva is a member of the Tubalari people, a sixth-generation indigenous resident of the village of Yailyu in the Altai Republic. She is a member of the non-governmental organization "Sacred Altai", which is trying to preserve the nature of their native land.
Agrafena Sopochina, a member of the Khanty people, grew up on the territory of traditional nature use in the forest, now she lives in the village Lyantor, Surgut district. Agrafena is an anthropologist, translator, specialist in the language and culture of the Surgut Khanty, she also actively defends the nature of her native land and the rights of her people.
Valentina Sovkina is a Saami activist born in a family of fishermen and reindeer herders. He is the head of the elected body - the Assembly of the Saami of the Kola Peninsula), a member of the Aboriginal Forum and the Saami Women's Forum.