There are 24 different indigenous peoples that base their lives on herding domesticated reindeer today. These nomadic reindeer herders live across the entire circumpolar Arctic and Sub-Arctic region, including areas in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Russia, China, Mongolia, US/Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Scotland. These groups currently herd around 2,5 million domesticated reindeer, and are altogether close to 100 000 people, all included.
Every 4th year, all reindeer herding peoples of the world have their own Assembly – The World Reindeer Herders’ Congress – which is the most important meeting arena for world reindeer herders.
The World Reindeer Herders’ Congress is a unique cultural and professional event that brings together representatives of reindeer herding peoples from around the circumpolar region.
International cooperation in reindeer husbandry in modern times dates back to 1993 with the Reindeer Peoples’ Festival in Tromsø, Norway. Previous congresses have been held in Nadym (Russia), Inari (Finland), Yakutsk (Russia), Kautokeino (Norway), Aoluguya (China) and most recently (2017) in Jokkmokk (Sweden).
The VII World Reindeer Herders' Congress, originally scheduled for March 2021 in Khanty-Mansiysk, has been postponed until the autumn of 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The exact dates will be determined in the near future.
The event is organised by the Government of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Uugra and the Association of World Reindeer Herders, an international organization representing the interests of all indigenous reindeer herding peoples.