Working Group of Indigenous Peoples
The cooperation between the indigenous peoples was initiated by the Barents Regional Council already in 1993. The Working Group of Indigenous Peoples (WGIP) was established on a permanent basis by the Regional Council in 1995.
The WGIP consists of representatives of the Sami, the Nenets and the Vepsian peoples. The group is distinguished from other regional working groups by the fact that, in addition to its operational role as a working group, it also has an advisory role to both the Barents Council (foreign ministers) and the Regional Council (county governors). The Chair of the WGIP represents the indigenous peoples of the Region at the ministerial meetings of the BEAC. The WGIP also has a representative in the Regional Council and the Regional Committee.
Action Plan for Indigenous Peoples in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region 2013-2016
The overall goal for the indigenous peoples’ cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region is to secure indigenous peoples’ rights, foundation for trade, society, culture and language through implementation of the Action Plan of Indigenous Peoples of the BEAR. The indigenous peoples’ cooperation shall contribute to friendship and cooperation based on equality, co-existence and tolerance between the peoples of the region. In the light of Nenets, Saami and Veps’ status as indigenous peoples of the north, the cooperation shall secure solid health- and living conditions, as well as cultural continuity, in the future.
- to obtain satisfying influence on issues with impact on the indigenous peoples and their areas
- to develop strong and healthy local communities with well-developed health-and welfare services, work places and satisfying school-and education possibilities
- to secure a solid material foundation for the cultural exercise of the indigenous peoples
- to establish solid conditions for the growth and development of indigenous peoples’ languages
- to implement measures and projects aimed at indigenous women and families
- to secure solid conditions for further transmission and usage of indigenous peoples knowledge and competence
- to secure solid conditions for development of necessary indigenous peoples’ institutions
- to spread correct information in order to increase the understanding of indigenous peoples’ cultural, economic and social situation
- indigenous institutions and indigenous organizations are entitled to prior information and consultation regarding statistical data, measures and interventions in indigenous peoples’ areas
To download the whole Action Plan (English version), please follow this link.
For more information about indigenous peoples’ activities in the Barents region, please see the BarentsIndigenous.org website.
Documents of the working group of Indigenous Peoples
- Mr. Lars-Anders Baer, Chair. (Substitute: Inger-Ann Omma)
Tel: +46 70 316 20 56, Fax: +46 971-558 93, +46 971 101 40
- Ms Tatiana Egorova
Barents Indigenous Peoples Office, Lovozero
Tel.: +7 8152 242140
- Ms. Anna Afanasyeva, Indigenous Peoples’ Adviser
International Barents Secretariat
Tel: +47 78 97 08 73, Mobile: +47 90 70 81 91, Fax: +47 78 97 70 79
The Barents Indigenous Peoples’ Congress, February 4th 2010
The Working Group of Indigenous Peoples arranged the Barents
Indigenous Peoples’ Congress on the 4th of February, 2010.
Approximately 60 representatives of the indigenous peoples of the
Barents Euro-Arctic Cooperation were gathered to discuss the role and
influence of indigenous peoples in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC).
The congress calls for a new mandate for the indigenous
peoples’ representation in the Barents cooperation. A draft declaration
from the congress has now been sent to the different indigenous
organizations in the region, and after feedback from them it will be
presented to the BEAC as a common declaration from the indigenous
peoples of the region.
The Arctic Council’s
concept of permanent participants is set as a minimum for indigenous
peoples’ representation, but based on the recent development on the
international arena concerning indigenous peoples’ right to
self-determination the draft declaration from the congress takes a step
forward from the Arctic Council’s concept.
The draft declaration from the congress states that each
indigenous people in the Barents cooperation, the Nenets, the Saami and
the Veps, shall be granted direct representation in BEAC and the Barents Regional Council as
Permanent Participant. Each people shall be allowed to represent
itself and shall be granted full and active participation within both
councils and all their meetings and activities.
After receiving feedback from the indigenous organizations,
the final declaration of the Barents Indigenous Peoples’ Congress will
be presented to the higher levels of the Barents Euro-Arctic
Cooperation, working its way up the agendas and probably ending up for
decision on the 13th BEAC Foreign Ministers Meeting in 2011.
The Resolution from the Barents Indigenous Peoples’ Congress in Ferbuary 2010 is now available for download, as are other documents from the conference.
For more information, please contact the secretariat of the WGIP.