5TH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES CONGRESS IN SAKHALIN ELECTS REPRESENTATIVE TO REGIONAL DUMA

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YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, October 29 (RIA Novosti's Petr Tsyrendorzhiyev) - The Fifth Congress of the Indigenous Peoples of Sakhalin closed on Friday, a spokesman for the organizing committee said.

The more than 3,000 Nivkhi, Orochi, Nanai and Evenk delegates elected representative to the Sakhalin Regional Duma.

The congress also elected Yekaterina Korolyova, director of a highschool in Moskalvo Severny, Okha district, as a defender of the rights and interests of Sakhalin's indigenous groups.

The Sakhalin Region is one of the few regions in Russia where the indigenous peoples are represented in the local government, the spokesman said.

Eight delegates to the all-Russia forum of the small northern ethnic groups, which will be held next April in Moscow, were also elected.

During the two day congress, the delegates debated social, economic and cultural development and discussed measures for developing cooperation with oil and gas companies working on the Sakhalin shelf and in areas traditionally inhabited by Nivkhi, Orochi, Nanais and Evenks.

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