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Small nations can be successful

Small nations can be successful

Daryana Maksimova

Research Fellow, Institute of USA and Canada, RAS

Daryana Maksimova, Research Fellow, Institute of USA and Canada, Russian Academy of Sciences:

- Indigenous minorities in Canada live on reservations. I'm mainly talking about Indians who are called "first nation" or "first nation." They are not allowed to work everywhere, so the issue of employment is very acute. Many receive subsidies equal to the minimum wage - in the order of $ 800. The standard of living of the indigenous people is much lower than that of the rest of the population of Canada. In this regard, alcoholism and drug addiction are widespread among indigenous peoples, which, of course, reduces life expectancy. This situation has persisted for many centuries. Canada has a history of over 400 years since the arrival of the white population. The word "Canada", which gave the name to the country, came from the language of the Indians ("kanata" means "village" or "settlement." In 1535, two local residents said this word to show Jacques Cartier the way to the Indian village Stadacone (district Later, Cartier used the word Canada to refer to the village and its surroundings on maps, so in 1547 on the first map of the world the territory north of the St. Lawrence River was named Canada.

Quebec is one of the 10 modern provinces of Canada, the indigenous peoples here also live on reserves in the north. I want to point out that in terms of the standard of living, the indigenous people of Quebec - the Inuit - are in a better position than in the whole country. In 1975, the James Bay Agreement was signed with the Inuit and Cree Indians of Northern Quebec, according to which part of the territory is under their control. They were allocated small areas of the type of reservations, where they received the right to hunt, fish, and other activities, and monetary compensation, which they pledged to pay for 20 years. Later, in the 1990-ies, an indigenous government was created. At the same time, the National Assembly for the Indigenous Peoples of Quebec was formed. With the opinion of the indigenous people of Quebec, the provincial government is considered, and the development of the small indigenous peoples of the North and the preservation of their traditional way of life is a priority.

In Yakutia, there are 5 indigenous small northern peoples. What is the difference between Quebec and Yakutia? There are no reservations in Yakutia. However, in Yakutia, less money is allocated to the program of support of northern peoples than in Quebec, therefore the level of economic development there is higher than ours. Although the infrastructure in some places in Yakutia is much better than in Quebec. Here is such a paradox! There, the territories behind the 55-parallel of the northern latitude are very problematic. At us, though roads and bad, but they are. In addition, indigenous small-numbered people in Yakutia can receive higher education: they have the privileges to enter a university, the indigenous people of Quebec, on the contrary, have little chance of becoming students, because education in Canada is paid and they can not afford it.

At the same time, in Yakutia, there is not enough legislation to settle territorial issues: the peoples of the north have no self-government. In each settlement, communities are established that manage the economic activities of the community.

In my opinion, the reservation system today is a little archaic. But Canada will never go to cancel it because of competition. Through the Indian reserves is the laying of oil pipelines. The indigenous population is struggling with this. They organize rallies, take to the streets, write various letters to the government. They are heard, environmentalists are cooperating with them. But if one day a project on the transatlantic transportation of shale oil and gas is implemented, Canada can become an exporter, and indigenous peoples will be the first to suffer from the release of methane and carbon dioxide.

Meanwhile, the indigenous small people of Quebec and Yakutia can be successful if they have their own business. Thus, the Canadian airline Air Inuit, which carries out regular and charter passenger and cargo air services mainly between the towns of the northern part of the province of Quebec, is in the collective ownership of the indigenous Inuit people. Another example of business is the production of souvenirs. This is also profitable if tourism is developed in the region. In Russia, without state support, to develop tourism and business in the northern regions of Yakutia and is hardly possible.

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