Rural indigenous communities, involved in traditional economic activities, have better opportunities to preserve ethnic identities and cultures. The Soviet/Russian system of village administrations with “household books” provides data, adequate for assessing proportions of those working in traditional sector of economy and for measuring prospects for demographic and ethno-cultural sustainability of local communities. After field work in the Amur basin and other areas, the author worked out quantitative social-demographic indicators for such measurements (Yamskov, 1999) and possible legal definition of “traditional economic activities” of indigenous peoples of the North in contemporary Russia (Yamskov, 2000). The revised set of indicators consists of: proportion of ethnically homogeneous “full” households (with both spouses up to 59 years old and with at least one child or teenager up to 17 years); proportion of retired persons’ households (with one or more persons of 60 years and older); index of aging (the ratio of the latter to the former in the village). The author explains techniques of collecting and processing demographic and social data on the village level, and attempts to prove that such indicators can really provide insight into the immediate demographic and ethno-cultural future of the indigenous village communities and that his definition of “traditional occupations” can help the authorities to differentiate those members of the local communities who should enjoy preferential status in the use of biological resources. The report was prepared with financial assistance of the RFBR grant № 15-06-02279.

International Geographical Union Regional Conference “Geography, Culture and Society for Our Future Earth”. 17-21 August 2015, Moscow, Russia.
Moscow: Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography, 2015 г.
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