The 27th meeting of the Consultative Committee attended by representatives of Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL), the Sakhalin Oblast Government, and the Regional Council of Authorized Representatives for the Indigenous Minorities of the North (IMN) in Sakhalin Oblast took place in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on February 20.
At its regular meetings, the Consultative Committee reviews funding requests and the implementation progress of social projects aimed at preserving and developing the unique culture of the indigenous people of Sakhalin Island. Requests approved by the majority of Committee members are recommended for inclusion in the annual social budget of Exxon Neftegas Limited, which supports these projects on behalf of the Sakhalin-1 Consortium.
Nine representatives of the Consultative Committee parties and one IMN deputy of the Sakhalin Oblast Duma attended the latest meeting. The ENL representatives provided information about the Sakhalin-1 Project operations. Lyudmila Zakirovna Kravchuk, Chair of the Regional Council of Authorized Representatives for Sakhalin Oblast IMN reported to the meeting on the Regional Council's work in 2018-2019. Aleksei Limanzo, the IMN deputy of the Sakhalin Oblast Duma, explained how the Duma addresses the indigenous people issues and informed about the status of the legislative framework development for reindeer herding.
The following projects were judged by the Committee members and approved by the Sakhalin-1 Consortium as the best in 2018: the multi-municipality festive ritual Feeding the Spirit-Master of the Sea, the 5th Oblast festival of IMN folk arts and crafts “Living Traditions”, The Nani on Sakhalin and Songs of Beldy, and Culture of the Northern Peoples in the Drawings of Children of Various Generations – From Moscow to Sakhalin.
For 2019, 19 new funding requests were received for social projects to support the culture, ethnic language, and traditional ways of life of the indigenous peoples. After a lively discussion, the Committee members recommended the funding of 12 projects subject to their follow-up revision. Three of these projects are of particular importance for preserving ethnic languages, and about 2 million rubles will be allocated for these projects implementation.
- Publication of a Nivkh language text book for the 4-th grade of primary school
- A Week of Nivkh Culture and Local Lore in the Nivkh language
- Development of a Nivkh electronic audio dictionary with translation into the Russian and English languages.
In addition, the Sakhalin-1 Consortium continues to implement a long-term support program for Sakhalin reindeer herders. In 2018, yet another reindeer batch was brought in from Yakutia to replenish the Sakhalin herds. The 2019 funding will amount to 3.3 million rubles which will be used to support traditional economy and to allow the exchange of experiences between the Sakhalin reindeer herders and the representatives of the most successful reindeer breeding farms from other regions of Russia.
The Consultative Committee was founded in 2013 under the Tri-Party Cooperation Agreement between ENL, the Sakhalin Oblast Government, and the Regional Council of Authorized Representatives for the IMN in Sakhalin Oblast that was signed on September 4, 2012.