Official launch of the Children of the Arctic portal
The official ceremony dedicated to the launch of the Children of the Arctic information portal took place at the Far East Development Corporation's presentation venue in Moscow.11 August 2021
The list of attendees included Aleksey Chekunkov, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic; Igor Nosov, Acting General Director of the Far East Development Corporation; Andrey Patrushev, Director of the Arctic Initiatives Centre; Anna Polezhaeva, Advisor to the Head of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs and supervisor of the Children of the Arctic project in the Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Group, and Alexander Tochonov, Chairman of the Public Council under the Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East.
The special invited guests of the ceremony were 13 children - representatives of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic (Evens, Yukagirs, Sami, Vepsians, Khanty, Dolgans, Selkups, Nganasans, Evenks, Enets, Chukchi, Nenets).
In his opening speech, Aleksey Chekunkov emphasised the significance of this event. The Children of the Arctic portal was launched on the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples and ahead of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (from 2022 until 2032; a corresponding resolution was adopted during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly on 6 November).
“Dear friends, you have come to us from a far and with a very important mission. The entire world community is watching the Arctic today with great attention. You are here because each of you has a treasure, you are speakers of unique rare Arctic languages. In total, there are almost 6 thousand languages in the world, but many are under threat. According to UN estimates, a third of them may disappear in our 21st century. The fact that you know the native languages of your peoples, which contain wisdom, traditions, legends, traditions of many generations and take them back into the centuries, is very valuable. It is important that you carry this treasure through your life, pass it on to your children. We are also making efforts to preserve the heritage, these treasures for future generations. The portal, which we are launching today, will serve to preserve your languages and interest children and adults from all over the world, to draw attention once again to the enormous wealth and diversity of the Russian Arctic," stressed Alexey Chekunkov.
Andrei Patrushev, General Director of ANO Center for Arctic Initiatives, noted the contribution of the new portal to the preservation of the languages of the indigenous Arctic peoples, traditions and histories of the Russian North:
“It is nice that children of the Arctic are present here, for whom and for whom a new educational resource has been created. It gives you the opportunity to get acquainted with the unique culture and centuries-old experience of the indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North and immerse yourself in the study of their languages and traditions, the preservation of which is an important history. I am sure that the portal will play its role in preserving the linguistic heritage and cultural and historical wealth of the Arctic peoples. We tried to make it interesting and accessible for a large number of people, regardless of age and place of residence, and we will continue to develop it."
Anna Polezhaeva, advisor to the head of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs, curator of the Children of the Arctic project in the group on sustainable development at the Arctic Council, said that the Children of the Arctic project received international status, supported by Canada and Finland. The work continues, together with the regions of the Russian Arctic and representatives of the indigenous people, and soon the project is to be defended at the UN.
Alexander Tochenov, Chairman of the Public Council under the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, called on young northerners to love their small homeland, after which the children were given an honorable mission to announce the launch of the portal.
The developers arranged a detailed presentation of the resource, the filling of which was carried out for 5 months. Several expeditions to the regions of the Russian Arctic were organized, and research work was carried out. The project team filmed in the tundra, recorded interviews with native speakers of national cultures and languages, studied archival documents and visited local museums.
Content collection continued in Moscow, on the day of the portal's launching ceremony. In the conference area of the KRDV, three studios were equipped: three for filming video and one for sound. A member of the delegation, a 17-year-old representative of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug from the village of Ovgort, Alena Longortova, managed to talk with the head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic, Alexei Chekunkov, who inquired about the customs and traditions of the Khanty. The girl, the youngest of four children in the family, said that she already knows how to install a chum and taught the Minister to speak the Khanty language the words "hello" - "vushcha volaty" and "thank you" - "pumashipa".
The rest of the guys took part in recording a video for the site and dubbing cartoons, which will be posted on the portal. Guests from the Arctic regions also went on excursions and got acquainted with the sights of the Russian capital.
Recall that in April 2021, during a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with the Cabinet of Ministers, the project "Children of the Arctic" was presented to the head of state by the Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic Alexei Chekunkov.
The portal is located at arctic-children.com.