Arctic College of the Peoples of the North

Arctic College of the Peoples of the North is located in the most remote place of the Nizhnekolymsky district of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) - the town of Chersky. Nizhnekolymsky district of the Sakha Republic is a unique place for indigenous peoples of the North, where they have managed to preserve traditions and lifestyle of their ancestors.

Nizhnekolymsky Vocational School №21 was established in 1973 by the Yakutsk Department for Vocational Training. Its aim was to provide qualified personnel for agricultural districts of the Sakha Republic. In 1992 vocational school was re-organized into the Nizhnekolymsky College of the Peoples of the North by the Decree of the Sakha Republic Government. The main tasks given to the reorganized college included training personnel for traditional industries of the North, small schools with the revival of indigenous peoples' culture, traditions, language and traditional way of life.

In 2015 the college was re-organized again and received a new name – the Arctic College of the Peoples of the North. Most students at the College are indigenous. Thus, in 2016 there were 80 indigenous students, 50 of them Evens, 24 - Chukchi, and 6 - Yukhagirs.

In 2019-2020 the college provides vocational education in the following areas of expertise:

  • Reindeer herding – operating machinery 
  • Rational use of environmental complexes (qualification - Ecologist Technician)
  • Metalwork (qualification - Mechanic)
  • Cooking

An Arctic Centre for Domestic Reindeer Husbandry was established at the College in 2013 as a result of the international conference “New Technologies as a Factor of Sustainable Development of Traditional Activities of Indigenous Peoples”.

In 2018 students of the College participated in the Arctic Skills international competition. In April 2019, the College organized the ArcticSkills-2019 Competition among reindeer herders and students of the Nizhnekolymsky district in the Halarcha Tundra (Turvaurgin). The participants competed in four areas of expertise: design of a camp and erection of a chum (a traditional reindeer skin tent); reindeer herding; chum-keeping; operation and maintenance of a non-road motor vehicle. Two competitions - in snowmobile biathlon and reindeer sled racing - were held in addition to the main program.

Facts and figures

Year Established 1973
Total Number of Staff 24
Number of Academic Staff 9
Number of Students 133