Russia’s River Villages: Water Quality in Yakutia

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These lovely traditional Yakut dancers greeted us in Zhigansk. (Photo by Mary Marshall)

Amid sanctions and increasing tensions between the U.S. and Russia, Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall take the Network of Indigenous Knowledge (NIK) and its citizen-science effort to monitor water health deep into Russia. Along the way, they find a more peaceful journey and more friends than they ever imagined they would.

The Network of Indigenous Knowledge (NIK) is about connecting people who are, by nature and place, environmental stewards. When the 70 tribes and First Nations of the Yukon River came together for the sake of their shared resource, the Yukon Watershed, it was soon evident that the model they had created could be shared with others living within watersheds around the globe. Now, we seek to bring NIK to the indigenous peoples of Yakutia in eastern Russia.

By learning about and documenting the detailed science of their various environments, connecting with one another and discovering the similarities in their different cultures, indigenous peoples are significantly empowered to set realistic goals for their future generations—all based on the water they share, and their treatment of that water. In the process, these groups who have historically had no voice can —> Read More Here


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