Nadia French

The Russian Arctic is largely made up of non-Indigenous first generation immigrants. Where people come from in the context of renewed development of the Russian Arctic is important since little or nolateral migration is taking place, and the Arctic nature would clash with the ‘primal landscape’ of most. While there are works exploring ‘temporary mentality’ of migrants onto their attitudes towards theirtemporary second home, little is known of how these newcomers internalise the Arctic environment,how they use it, and how they interact with its wildlife.

Building on the field work research conducted in Salekhard and Mys Kamenny, Yamal district, Yamal-Building on the field work research conducted in Salekhard and Mys Kamenny, Yamal district, Yamal-Nenets-Autonomous Okrug in 2017, the paper is exploring human-animal interactions among settlednon-Indigenous residents as well as shift workers. Understanding how people explain and internalisethe Arctic provides insight into preparedness of the newcomers for the Arctic, environmental awareness(lay ecological knowledge based on observation, experience and sharing) and shifting perceptions of theArctic from ‘exotic’ to familiar. The research found that while settled migrants demonstrate more concernover their natural surroundings than shift workers, both groups are likely to lack environmentalknowledge and empowerment to act upon negative ecological dynamics in the area. Responsibility forthe environment was ascribed to government and corporations, while individual sense of place was selectivelybuilt on particular attributes of the environment.

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