International conference “Alcoholism in the North: Myths and realities” 01-02 December 2012 Murmansk

SNF Project “Let’s learn to live without alcohol”  2009-2012. Copyright: Project logo: SNF by Valentina Sovkina

SNF has suggested this to be a statement at Alta Indigenous People’s Conference June 10-12 2013:

Suggestions and recommendations  International conference “Alcoholism in the North: Myths and realities”.

1-2 December 2012 the SNF- Sami Women’s Forum arranged the conference: “Alcoholism in the North: Myths and realities” in Murmansk. The conference was part of the project: Let’s learn to live without alcohol”. 37 people participated. Alcohol and alcohol dependency are some of the greatest challenges in society. Today many do not bother with alcohol dependency, because there are bigger issues.

Researchers and practicians in the various states have made a big effort to find efficient solutions for alcohol dependency. Professor Aleksander Majurov, the UN’s scientific expert on issues concerning intoxication abuse and abstention and president in the International Abstention Academy said that there are seven concepts of approaching the problem of alcoholism.

Anastasia Todozhokova, PhD in chemistry and research worker of honor in the Altai republic in Russia, identified the reasons of alcoholism among indigenous peoples and presented her finds. Social worker Reidun Boine who works among Sámi families in Norway, shared her knowledge of how to carry out meahcceterapiija (natural therapy) and family therapy.

When working with alcoholism one must have an integrated approach, carry out sociological measures, have control over alcoholic drinks, denatured spirits and other spirits in areas with indigenous peoples. One must also arrange talks about alcohol with youngsters and arrange spare time activities for them. The following suggestions were accepted:

In relation to the authorities on all levels:

  1. That the TV channels show programs, films and videos through the project “Common cause” (Obšeje delo) in Russia.
  2. Finance programs for the counties for establishing meahcceterapiija (natural therapy) for children and adults.
  3. Introduce total prohibition of spirits in the territories of indigenous peoples in the North.
  4. Agree upon inspections by official people to find out where alcohol is sold to youngsters under age.
  5. Establish a centre for rehabilitating of those who are dependent on intoxication, homeless, single etc. where meahcceterapija and physiotherapy is used.

For the regions:

  1. Accept as a positive work experience and arrange discipline seminars in the field of abstention (sobriology) and the so called Šičko-psyko pedagogical method.
  2. Introduce projects at schools in the Murmansk region in Aleksander og Mikhail Majurovs new subject “Learning about a culture for health”
  3. Spread the so-called optimal movement (establishing abstention associations) and family abstention associations on the Kola Peninsula.
  4. Make suggestions to the various local councils and the regional duma and via these to the Russian state duma to prohibit local sale of alcohol.
  5. Develop a distant study program for preventing the use of psyco active remedies (PAM), so that specialists working with children, young people and their families get a better knowledge, learn methods of prevention and share experiences.
  6. Use the method “The Incredible Years” and prepare the work for indigenous children.
  7. Contact the Barents CYAR-group (Children and Youth at Risk), so they can work purposefully with Sámi families, children and youth in projects.

SNF have worked for years with intoxication abuse, violence and the health of women. The question must be seen in connection as a serious social problem. SNF is very grateful to have received the prize for equality of status from the Sámi Parliamentary Council in 2012. This gives our work greater attention. We lift issues of taboo, like sexual harassing, violence and intoxication abuse into publicity. And we are also the people’s voice reacting against discrimination of the sexes.

On behalf of the SNF project 2009-12: “Let us Learn to Live Without Alcohol”:

Valentina Sovkina and Alexandra Artieva

Interpreted from Russian to Norwegian, Sami and English: Jevgenij Jushkov, Gudrun E E Lindi, Kari Wattne.

Copyright: Project logo: SNF by Valentina Sovkina

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