Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 162

162 Arctic Yearbook 2015 As a result of the outmigration of non-indigenous inhabitants, the demographic balance between indigenous peoples and settlers has been partially restored to levels that have not been seen since the 1950s. The post-Soviet demographic transformation was accompanied (and accentuated) by a socioeconomic crisis in the region, as subsidized industries shut down because they were unprofitable in a market context. Basic services in areas such as healthcare and education were starved of resources and traditional activities, in particular reindeer herding and fur trading, went into decline (Chukotka 2014; Abryutina 2007a). Despite investments in infrastructure and services during the Abramovich era, such problems persist today. In a recent meeting between representatives of the regional government and senators representing Chukotka in the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, Senator Aramays Dallakyan noted “the lack of funding for the implementation of the Strategy of socio-economic development of the Chukotskii Autonomous Okrug” (Chukotskii Avtonomnyi Okrug 2015). In a separate interview, the Head of the Okrug’s Department of Social Policy, Anastasia Zhukova, commented on the importance of continued investment in infrastructure such as roads airports and seaports as a key component of the overall strategy to develop the region (Masalova 2015). One area of particular concern is marine hunting, an integral part of the fishing industry in the region and an important part of the economic development of indigenous communities. According to the Deputy Head of the okrug’s Department of Agricultural Policy and Environmental Management, Evgenyi Marochkin, it was unfortunate that marine hunting was not included in the list of activities targeted by the federal program on the development of the agricultural economy, the regulation of agricultural products, raw materials and food for 2013-2020 (Noskov i Omruv’e 2015). In response, the Head of the Regional Duma, Valentina Rudchenko, said that “[the region] must continue to work with federal agencies, for federal support is very important for us, as the district budget is clearly not enough for the implementation of government programs” (Noskov i Omruv’e 2015). These comments from regional officials demonstrate the hierarchical nature of politics in contemporary Russia. At the same time, they also reveal the underlying frustrations and dependencies that characterize Chukotka’s relationship with the federal government. Impacts of development on Chukotka’s indigenous peoples during the Soviet period Chukotka’s diverse indigenous population consists of the Chukchi, Yupik, Even, Kerek, Koryak, Yukagir, and Chuvan peoples (Diatchkova 2002, 2010; Leonova 2011). Before the Soviet era, Chukotka’s indigenous peoples maintained their independence from the Russian empire and traded freely with Russians, Americans and each other. In fact: the Chukchi tribesmen were the only native Siberian tribe violent and warlike enough ever to fight the Russian invaders to a negotiated peace, concluded in 1778. Even after the Russian withdrawal from the ostrog of Anadyrsk4 under the terms of the treaty, the Chukchi remained notorious raiders of Russian settlements and caravans (Matthews 2013. See also Znamenski 1999). At the Margins