Nornickel’s Vice-President for Federal and Regional Programmes Andrey Grachev met with the President of the Kola Sámi Association Elena Rocheva on Friday, March 19, to discuss ways to extend the company’s aid to Russia’s extreme northwest indigenous communities — the Sámi people of the Kola Peninsula.
Grachev and Rocheva discussed how to preserve and develop the Sami language, culture and livelihoods. Rocheva thanked Nornickel for supporting several socially significant projects: in 2019, Nornickel provided support for the publication of the Almanac of Sami Literature, and last year it helped create a memorial dedicated to the soldiers of the Sami reindeer transport battalions, which defended the Soviet Arctic during World War II.
“Nornickel has always kept a strong focus on support to local communities that represent the interests of small indigenous groups of the North. The company has a wealth of positive experience interacting with the Indigenous Peoples’ associations on the Taimyr Peninsula; now a five-year support programme, developed by Nornickel together with local indigenous communities, is being implemented there. And although Nornickel has no assets on the traditional Sami territories in the Murmansk region, we are always sensitive to the needs and requests of indigenous people in the regions where we operate. Today there is every reason to continue our cooperation at a new quality level,” said Andrey Grachev.
The Sámi representative spoke about the activities of her community and organisation, and highlighted the importance of extended cooperation with Nornickel.
The parties agreed to prepare a cooperation agreement between Nornickel and several Sámi organisations in the Murmansk region.
At the time of Russia’s 2010 countrywide census, the Murmansk region was home to 1,599 Sámi people and 226 people belonging to other small indigenous communities of the North. Traditionally, the main places of residence and livelihood of the Sámi people of the Murmansk region are the Kovdorsky district (with a population of 112 people in 2010), the Kola district (with a population of 201 people in 2010), and the Lovozersky district (with a population of 873 people in 2010).