Karelians asked for membership in the Barents Euro-Arctic Cooperation of Indigenous Peoples

The executive body of the Karelian people's Congress - Council of Commissioners - officially requested membership in the Barents Working Group on Indigenous Peoples. The official inquiry signed by the Chair of the Council of Commissioners Tatyana Kleerova was sent in accordance with the decision of the VIII Congress of Karelians, adopted in March 2016. A member of the Council of Commissioners Alexey Tsykarev presented this application and answered questions of the Working Group members in mid-March 2018 at a meeting in Murmansk.

The Barents Working Group on Indigenous Peoples, composed of representatives of Vepsians, Nenets and Sami people of Russia, Finland, Sweden and Norway, asked the Karelian movement to provide a reasoned answer to the question: what positive changes will occur after the Karelians receive membership in the Working Group? The Council of Commissioners prepared an explanatory note detailing not only the question asked, but also providing an exhaustive analysis of scientific facts, practices, legislation and international standards that justify the fact that the Karelians can rightfully be considered an indigenous people of the Barents Region.

The members of the Working Group took note of the information provided and plan to take their decision within 2018. The representative of the Vepsian people in the Working Group, Yevgeny Fateev, during the debate stressed that the Karelian and Vepsian peoples have a shared destiny, history and closely related languages ​​and cultures, and both peoples are equally indigenous in the Republic of Karelia. Earlier, in its welcoming speech at the Barents Indigenous Peoples Summit in Moscow, the Vepsian delegation stressed that a positive decision on the application of the Karelians would strengthen the role of indigenous peoples in the Barents cooperation.

Explanatory note (English version)

Welcoming speech of the Vepsian delegation at the Barents Indigenous Peoples Summit (in Russian only)