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Expert: Project to promote languages of North's indigenous peoples will be Arctic-wide

According to Rustam Romanenkov, the Children of Arctic project that involves 18 languages of the Arctic peoples is being implemented throughout the Russian Federation's Arctic zone

MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. The Center for Arctic Initiatives non-governmental organization jointly with the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Linguistics implements a project to revive languages of the Arctic's low-numbered indigenous peoples, the Center's Deputy Director General Rustam Romanenkov said.

"Under the Children of Arctic project, we have united efforts with the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Linguistics to introduce and promote the "master and pupil" methods in learning native languages. We have created five language pairs in different regions across Russia, and, based on their experience, we offer methodological materials and instructions to implement widely this experience and learning approaches, so that a large number of people who want to remember and learn their native languages could at least speak at the level of conversations," he said at the Days of Arctic and Antarctic international forum in Moscow.

According to the expert, the Children of Arctic project that involves 18 languages of the Arctic peoples is being implemented throughout the Russian Federation's Arctic zone. "The issue of preserving the Arctic peoples' languages and culture is an aspect of the country's cultural security. Russia is a multi-ethnic country, and in the Arctic lives a large number of indigenous peoples, each of them having own culture. The project's key task is to preserve these cultural values," he added.

In 2023 the organization plans to focus on the promotion of multimedia content. "We have accumulated the necessary amount of information in different formats - language, tourist, educational videos, games, longreads, and cartoons. The content will be uploaded to Aeroflot's multimedia system from November, and the Russian Railways multimedia system has been broadcasting it on Sapsan trains," he said.

How to attract youth: from drifting to cleanup

Experts note the growing interest in the Arctic theme not only in other countries. Svetlana Lipina, head of the Arctic working group at the Public Council under the Ministry of Natural Resources says engineering school students express interest in the Arctic. "They are writing papers on the Arctic. Those are schools in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Samara, Kazan, and the North Caucasus," she said.

The expert stressed school students must be supported and encouraged to further Arctic studies. "It is important they not only receive bachelor and master degrees, but proceed to the doctoral degrees. <...> I believe, our joint work with experts in science and education will motivate young scientists," she said.

Alexander Makarov, director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute located in St. Petersburg, shared this opinion. According to him, the North Pole ice-resistant self-propelled platform, built at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg, will attract young people to Arctic studies. "This project is unique for attracting young people to these studies, because this way they gain a vision of their career," the expert stressed.

The world's first self-propelled ice-resistant platform, the North Pole, is designed for year-round expeditions in the Arctic Ocean's northern latitudes. The platform is being frozen into a large drifting ice floe and during the drifting scientists conduct geological, acoustic, geophysical and oceanographic studies in the Arctic region. In early autumn, the platform joined the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute's scientific expedition fleet and started its maiden expedition.

According to Ruslan Gubaidullin, the Clean Arctic project's COB, the volunteer movement has featured growing numbers of participants in missions to clean the Russian Federation's Arctic zone from the waste accumulated since the Soviet times. In 2021, the cleanup missions featured 2,200 volunteers, and more than 3,000 volunteers have participated in the cleanup in 2022. "For year 2023 our task is to involve the maximum community and to work at the international level," he said.

Arctic en route

Anna Subbotina, deputy director general of the Clean Seas Foundation, and the leader of the Arctic Holidays project, presented the traveling Arctic Bus multimedia interactive museum, which is aimed at promoting the Arctic. "Up to 1,500 people within two days have attended the museum. <...> The visitors wanted to gain information. Though the bus is only 28 square meters, it contains a lot of information. Everything about sciences, about the polar bear studies, about the inhabitants of the Arctic, about how the low-numbered indigenous peoples live," she said.

The exhibition contains little-known details about the Arctic, the history of discoveries, journeys, expeditions, videos about the Arctic regions and their inhabitants, as well as quests and riddles. The Arctic Bus' idea is to tell the audience in a simple form about the peoples living in the Arctic and about their traditions, about geography, ecology, biodiversity and the vulnerable Arctic ecosystem.

Earlier, Russia's Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education Andrey Omelchuk said specialists for the Arctic development must be trained not only at Northern and Arctic universities, but at universities across the country. More than 180,000 jobs will be offered in the Arctic to 2035. More than 4,000 jobs are available now, the Corporation for Development of the Far East and Arctic's Deputy Director General Elvira Nurgaliyeva said. Projects in the North demonstrate a demand in both workers and in managers, who will work on the projects, in implementation of which the country is not experienced as yet.

More than 300,000 people, representing the low-numbered indigenous peoples, live in the Arctic zone of Russia, Siberia and the Far East. They enjoy a special status and certain state incentives.