Vasilii Robbek, the Great Indigenous Leader From Sakha-Yakutia, Russia has passed on

The great Indigenous leader from the Even Nation in Republic of Sakha-Yakutia, Siberia, Russia has passed on in early July 2010.

The Indigenous Peoples Institute where he worked has prepared the following statement in his memory:

Robbek, Vasily Afanasievich was born on January 6th, 1937 in the Srednekolymskiy District, Yakutia, USSR into reindeer herder’s family.  In 1966, he graduated from Faculty of Peoples of the Far North at the Gertsen Leningrad Pedagogical Institute. In 1969 – 1973, he was a post-graduate student in the Leningrad Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Linguistics. In 1974, he defended a thesis for the Candidate of Sciences’ degree. In 1992, he defended a thesis for the Doctor of Sciences’ degree.  Since 1956 he worked as boarding school teacher, school teacher, Komsomol Committee instructor in the Srednekolymsky District of Yakutia, USSR. After graduating from the Institute, he worked as school director in the Srednekolymsky District. In 1973-1991, he worked in the USSR Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Language, Literature and History, having taken the positions from laboratory assistant to senior researcher associate.

Robbek, Vasily Afanasievich is one of founders of the RAS SB Institute of the Indigenous Peoples of the North (Институт проблем малочисленных народов Севера СО РАН). He directed the Institute from 1992 till 2008. The Institute was established as an only in Russia academic institution that carried out the complex researches towards working out the scientific bases of preservation and development of the indigenous numerically small peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East in the Russian Federation. Under his guidance and direct participation, the Institute worked out ‘Concept of Development of the Indigenous Numerically Small Peoples of the North in the Russian Federation in the 1st quarter of the 21st century’, ‘Concept of Development of the Indigenous Numerically Small Peoples of the North in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in the 21st century, National Report ‘The Indigenous numerically small peoples of the Russian Federation: problems, priorities and perspectives of development in the 21st century’ (1999).

In 2004, on the instructions of the President of the Russian Federation, the Institute’s researchers, being members of the Working Group of the Russian Federation State Council, prepared the part ‘Policy with regard to the indigenous numerically small peoples of the North’ within the report, concept and federal draft law ‘On bases of state policy of the Russian Federation in the areas of the Far North’. In 2007, the RAS SB Institute of the Indigenous Peoples of the North prepared the part ‘Development of the Indigenous Numerically Small Peoples of the North’ within the frame of the Scheme of Complex Development of Productive Forces, Power and Transport in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) of the Russian Federation till 2020.

Robbek, Vasily Afanasievich participated in the creation of the capital work ‘Northern Encyclopedia’ (2004), worked out the new conceptual model of creation of the system of education of the nomadic peoples of the North in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russian Federation.

Robbek, Vasily Afanasievich is a leading scholar in the area of Tungusic-Manchurian studies. He formed the scientific school on the theory of functional grammar regarding Tungusic-Manchurian languages. He wrote more than one hundred scientific works including 15 monographs and textbooks, 10 educational supplies and 5 Even language dictionaries for schools, pedagogical colleges and institutions of higher education. 16 works of them are devoted to the topical problems of the indigenous numerically small peoples of the North that considerably contributed to the Northern studies.

Robbek, Vasily Afanasievich created his own scientific school. He was a scientific supervisor of post-graduate students, prepared 9 Candidates of Sciences and 2 Doctors of Sciences. He was a member of the specialized Council for Defense of Doctor’s Theses in the specialty ‘Turkic Languages’, a member of the united academic councils in humanitarian and economic sciences in the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), a member of the Presidium, Yakutian Scientific Centre, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, a member of the main editorial board of the 60-volume series ‘Monuments of Folklore of the Peoples of Siberia and the Far East’, an initiator and author of the project ‘Monuments of Ethnic Culture of the Indigenous Numerically Small Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East’. He was elected a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russian Federation in 1994, and – a full member of this Academy in 1995.

Robbek, Vasily Afanasievich was elected a deputy of the 12th convocation of the Supreme Soviet of Yakutia and participated in the elaboration of 52 laws of Yakutia. He was a deputy chairman of the Council for Linguistic Policy of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russian Federation, a UNESCO expert for sustainable development of the Arctic, a member of the consultative and expert Council of the Russian Federation State Duma Committee for Northern problems in the section ‘Indigenous numerically small peoples of the North’, a member of the International Association of World’s Indigenous Experts, the International Arctic Social Sciences Association, the Northern Forum Academy, the board of the Union of Associations of the Peoples of the North in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russian Federation, directed the Section ‘Peoples of the North’ of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)’ Committee for UNESCO. From 1994 he was a member of the Russian Federation National Committee for the Decade of World’s Indigenous Peoples, took active part in the sessions of the UN Commission on Human Rights (Geneva), defended the interests of the indigenous Arctic peoples in the elaboration of such international acts as ‘Declaration on the Free Development of the Small Peoples of the North’ (1999), ‘UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ (2008).

From 2008 till his last days of life, he worked as head of the Section of Ėven Philology at the Institute of the Humanities and the Indigenous Peoples of the North of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Avaademy of Sciences (Институт гуманитарных исследований и проблем малочисленных народов Севера СО РАН).

For his contributions, Robbek, Vasily Afanasievich was awarded to the titles ‘Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation’, ‘Honored Scientist of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)’, ‘Exemplary in Folk Education’, ‘Honored Veteran of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences’, to medals ‘For contribution and development of science in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)’, ‘370 years Yakutia with Russia’, ‘Civic Valor’, ‘Ministry of Foreign Affairs 200 years’, to diplomas of the Russian Federation Federal Assembly’s Committee for the Northern Affairs and the Numerically Small Peoples. The heart of the international-level-leader of indigenous peoples, of the leading scholar in Tungusic studies, born by the Ėven people in the 20th century, stopped beating. The grateful memory about Robbek, Vasily Afanasievich who fulfilled the mission of personal responsibility for the destinies of the world’s indigenous peoples will be a guiding star for his colleagues, followers and the rising generation of national intelligentsia.

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.