The Predicament of Chukotka’s Indigenous Movement

Post-Soviet Activism in the Russian Far North


This is the first ethnography of the Russian North to focus on post-Soviet relations of domination between an indigenous minority and a non-indigenous majority in an urban setting. Patty Gray charts the political transformation in Chukotka in the 1990s as its administration sought to represent itself as ‘democratic’ while becoming ever more repressive, especially toward the indigenous population. The ‘predicament’ refers to how the nascent indigenous movement was prepared to address Soviet-style domination, and instead was confronted with this ‘new Russian’ style.

Published by Cambridge University Press / In paperback:  ISBN: 9781107404946

‘Gray insightfully approaches this situation in terms of control of space … it provides the context necessary to understand the situation in Chukotka today. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Chukotka and in indigenous issues more generally.’

Virginie Vaté, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris

‘A sweeping and incisive study that makes a fundamental contribution to the literature on native peoples in the post-Soviet north. This outstanding study will have lasting appeal to a very broad readership.’

Peter Jordan, Lund University

‘Scholars and students of the Russian North should read this eye-opening account of Chukotka’s geopolitics, history, economics and culture…The case study is worth comparing with the plight of Native Americans in the United States of America.’

Jane E. Knox-Voina, Bowdoin College