School on the “move”. Nomadic schooling of the indigenous Evenk children in the Republic of Sakha Yakutia

Thesis by Sargylana Zhirkova

The present state of the traditional culture of indigenous people in Russia can characterised as critical. It is well known that education was used as a main tool for acculturation and assimilation of non-Russian ethnic groups during the policy of Russification. In recent time the revitalisation of the indigenous minority culture stimulates a process of bringing back the nomadic schools. The nomadic school is defined as a special type of elementary school which was adapted to the extreme northern conditions of Siberia: this model started under the Soviet in the 1920’s and 1930s. This type of school moves with reindeer herders and it makes the school accessible for the children of nomadic people. It seems strange that in a modern time the indigenous people decided to return not only to their traditional culture but also to the type of schooling which was used by their parents. The first nomadic school in Russia was created in the 1930s and now this kind of school starts to work again in nomadic communities. I have decided to write about the nomadic school because education is an important aspect of life of the indigenous people: it opens doors for indigenous people. Today the nomadic school is a new educational institution for the indigenous nomadic children.

Thesis available