Working Group of Indigenous Peoples

WGIP meeting in Stockholm, May 2016.

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.

Interim goals

  • 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.



Christina Henriksen (chair) 
Tel: +47 90919131

Kristina Nordling
Tel: +46 733644223 


Domna Khomiuuk
Sami Russia

Galina Platova
Nenets Russia 

Elizaveta Haritonova


Tiina Sanila-Aikio
Tel: +358 407252585


Anja Salo
Norwegian Barents Secretariat
Tel: +47 90160981

Tatiana Egorova  
Barents Indigenous Peoples Office  
Tel: +7 9522994507

Observer organisations

For working group members:



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