Siberian Taiga(photo: Elkwiki/commonswiki, wikipedia)Evenk are an indigenous community in the republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in Russia's far east. As described by "The Red Book of the People of Russia"  "the Evenks inhabit a huge territory of the Siberian taiga from the River Ob in the west to the Okhotsk Sea in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north, to Manchuria and Sakhalin in the south". 

The Association of Indigenous Peoples of Sakha Republic (Yakutia), has reported the news (in Russian) that the Evenk community has eventually managed to stop the mining company "Almazy Anbara" from starting a diamond mine on their sacred river. As reported by the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Yakutia, Yakutia's Minister of nature protection of Sakhamin Afanasyev, announced the denial of a license to the company at a parliamentary session on 16 June in Yakutsk.

Earlier this year, at a public hearing held March 23 the inhabitants of Zhilinda village in Olenek Evenki district had voted unanimously against allowing the exploration work along the the sacred river Malaya Kuonapka and its tributary Maspaky. This is the first time for indigenous peoples in Yakutia to halt the issuing of a license to an extractive industries enterprise.

Before this vote, the villagers had approved three of the planned sites and only voted against the fourth. The river is revered by the Evenks as a sacred site. Furthermore, it is their only source of clean drinking water and as an important hunting and fishing site.

(Source:The Association of Indigenous Peoples of Sakha Republic)


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