People vs Petroleum

The group of indigenous people I’ll be focusing on is the Khanty. It’s estimated that there are only about 31,000 Khanty in the world, 100 live in the Ukraine and the rest live in the Tyumen Oblast. The Tyumen Oblast is a federal subject of Russia that holds administrative jurisdiction over two autonomous Okrugs—Khanty–Mansi Autonomous Okrug and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

After the fall of the Soviet Union the production of oil and gas was on the rise in Russia. One of the worlds most extensive petroleum deposits is found in Western Siberia, where Okrug is located. The Khanty rely heavily on fish and reindeer , oil exploitation in that area is polluting their forests and sacred lakes and killing off their reindeer. Numto Park is also in danger, “Num” holds a special place in Indigenous mythology and is often equated with the sky itself. Lake Numto means heavenly lake. The Khanty hold sacred rituals at Lake Numto and rely on the wildlife in that Area.

This concerns me because this issue has been going on for over 20 years, some of the first reports on this issue came out in 1996. We’re facing a similar issue here in the US with Standing Rock and I can’t imagine this issue going on for 20 years.

The map here is to illustrate the amount of land that Russia possesses. The map here illustrates the federal subjects belonging to Siberia.


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