General information about Russian Association of Indigenous
Peoples of the North,
Siberia and Far East (RAIPON)
RAIPON was created in 1990 at the First Congress of Indigenous Peoples of the North. The Association was originally called the "Association of Peoples of the North of the USSR" and united 26 indigenous groups of the North. On November 24, 1993 the Association was registered as public political movement “Association of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East of Russian Federation” and on July, 1999 it was reregistered at the RF Ministry of Justice as All-Russia public organization and received the registration number 2174.
RAIPON is public organization, that has as its goal the protection of human rights, defense of the legal interests of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East, and the assistance in solution of environmental, social and economic problems, and the problems of cultural development and education. RAIPON works to guarantee the right on protection of native homelands and traditional way of life as well as the right to self governance according to the national and international legal standards.
RAIPON unites 41 indigenous groups whose total population is around 250,000 people. These people are represented by 34 regional and ethnic organizations that have the authority to represent these groups both in Russia and in the international community.
RAIPON highest body is the Congress of Indigenous Peoples of the Russia’s North, Siberia and Far East, which is held every four years. Coordinating Council, Presidium (consisting of RAIPON President, I vice-president and vice-presidents) leads RAIPON current activity. The president is elected at the RAIPON Congress by secret vote and from a ballot that has at least two candidates. All regional associations’ leaders, elected by people in their regions, are members of the Coordinating Council.
RAIPON is built on territorial and territory-ethnical principle. Regional branches (associations) form the basis of RAIPON, and these associations are organizationally and financially independent.
RAIPON is very close to its regional branches; it coordinates regional associations’ activities according to steering bodies’ decisions; and helps in all issues. Vexed questions and unsolved problems in the fields of human rights, environment protection, preservation of traditional way of life, culture and native homelands are considered at Coordinating Council, which is held two times a year for current activity estimating. RAIPON organizes meeting especially for regional branches; contributes to international exchange programs and collaboration; and provides any aid to indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East.
RAIPON in cooperation with RF State Duma’ Committees and RF Government takes part in elaboration of the legislation, which guarantees indigenous peoples’ rights, preservation of their way of life and economic development. RAIPON partnership with Ministries, Federation Council’ and State Duma’ committees, and RF President Plenipotentiary Representatives is based on making the agreements of cooperation and carrying out joint meetings on federal and regional levels.
RAIPON has special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC); it is very active in participating in UN Working Groups on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues and on Draft Declaration on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, and also in the Commission on Human Rights and Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
RAIPON is a permanent participant at the Arctic Council, established by the eight Arctic countries: Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Island, Canada, USA, and Russia. Experts of the Association participate in the permanent working groups of the Arctic Council on biodiversity conservation and protection from ecological disasters.
RAIPON is an observer of UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum.
RAIPON is an observer of World Intellectual Property Organization’s Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore.
In 2000-2002 on a rotation basis RAIPON chaired the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat (IPS) in Copenhagen, Denmark.
RAIPON’s First vice-president has been appointed as UN Permanent Forum member for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2005.
In 1999 RAIPON has been awarded the Global 500 Roll of Honour of the United Nations Environment Programme in recognition of outstanding practical achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment.