Snowchange Oral History: Work Among the Kolyma River Indigenous Societies in Siberia, Russia

These Web pages are devoted to two Indigenous Chukchi communities, Turvaurgin and Nutendli, in the settlement of Kolymskaya, which is in the Northeastern Corner of the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia, Siberia, in the Russian Federation. Community residents practice seasonal nomadic reindeer herding and other subsistence activities that are being affected by climate change. Consequently, this region has become a pilot model area for the Integrated Ecosystem Approach to Conserve Biodiversity and Minimize Habitat Fragmentation in the Russian Arctic (ECORA) project and a Snowchange Cooperative partner.

The Snowchange Cooperative is a non-profit educational, scientific, and environmental independent organization, where all members are stakeholders. A lot of the work is scientific documentation of traditional and Indigenous knowledge to do with observations of cultural, climatic and ecological changes. Snowchange is collaborating with ELOKA to present the history, culture, and contemporary environmental situation of Turvaurgin and Nutendli.

Nutendli residentsIn this photograph, Nutendli residents greet the morning sun. Yegor Nutendli, an Elder from Nutendli, said, "We worship the sun. And the return of sun after the long polar night, after the long winter darkness. We feed the sun. When our families conduct their rituals, we always give offerings to sun; it is the source of light in our lives. We feed the fire and the sun. We have the waters, sky, sun, and the land." Photo credit: © Tero Mustonen, Snowchange Cooperative

The community and scholarly partnership between Snowchange and the communities of the region was initiated by the President of the Northern Forum Academy, Vladimir Vasiliev, along with the late, great Honorable Scientist of the Russian Federation, one of the leaders of the Even people, Professor Vasilii Robbek. These pages are devoted to the memory of Mr. Robbek and his lifework.

All materials on this Web site are © Tero Mustonen, Snowchange Cooperative, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

Vasili Robbek

Scientist Vasili Robbek, one of the leaders of the Even people, helped initiate the Snowchange project. Photo credit: © Tero Mustonen, Snowchange Cooperative