#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. At the site of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Elena Rocheva, president of the Kola Saami Association, and Andrev Grachev, Nornickel vice president for Federal and Regional Programs, signed an agreement on interaction and cooperation.
“We want our cooperation with the Sami ethnos to acquire a more systematic and deep character. Despite the fact that we do not have industrial sites in the areas of compact Sami population, for us it is a social responsibility. And as a socially responsible company, we are making efforts to preserve the life and culture of the Sami on the territory of the Kola peninsula”, noted Andrey Grachev.
Nornickel plans to equip the Sami open-air museum, carry out research work on the Sami language, in which today there are four variants of the alphabet at once. Because there is no single norm, there is no written language.
“The Sami addressed us with a request to help them in defining one alphabet in order to have a single written language. We would like to transfer our developments and technologies, because we faced the same problem in Taimyr, when discovered that the Enets, who are 278 people, lost their writing. Together with them and the Siberian Federal University, we restored the writing system and presented this case at the high rostrum of the UN”, Andrey Grachev said after the agreement was signed.
In turn, the president of the Kola Saami Association, Elena Rocheva, noted that native speakers would be involved in the project. In addition, representatives of the Sami scientific community from Norway, Sweden and Finland are hoping for participation.
The document also provides for financial support for various Sami music festivals. In particular, the 25th anniversary festival of Sami music and culture will take place in Olenegorsk, within the framework of which a competition of performers in the native language will be held.
“We understand very well that people who lose culture lose their language. This ethnos is gradually disappearing”, noted Andrey Grachev. “Therefore, our task is to help economically in the restoration and enhancement of the culture and customs of the Sami”.
Among other things, within the framework of an agreement on cooperation with the association, the company plans to purchase vouchers for sanatorium-resort rehabilitation of the Murmansk region Sami.
Text: Elena Popova, Photo: Nornickel press office