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A program to support the indigenous ethnic groups in Siberia has started to be implemented in the Irkutsk Region
A program to support the indigenous ethnic groups in Siberia has started to be implemented in the Irkutsk Region, the local administration said Monday. "The program is designed, above all, to protect the historical environment of the indigenous peoples and support their traditional occupations - reindeer breeding, fishing, and hunting," a local official said. This will help cut unemployment, which has hit 18%, Nikolai Yakovchenko said. Improving medical aid to the indigenous people who live sparsely in remote areas is one of the highlights of the program. "Education standards also have to be raised to allow local young people enter universities," Nikolai Yakovchenko said. The local authorities have allocated around 28 million rubles (more than $970,000) for activities in 2006, whereas the program was drafted for the period till 2011. Today, the region is home to about 2,000 Evenkians and Tofalarians, members of the northern indigenous ethnic groups.
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