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Hõimurahvaste programmi logo

The main objective of the Kindred Peoples’ Programme (in Estonian: Hõimurahvaste programm) is to support the preservation and development of the languages and cultures of kindred Uralic (i.e., Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic) indigenous peoples.

The programme encompasses support for Russia’s Finno-Ugric peoples (including Votians, Izhorians, Karelians, Vepsians, Erzyans and Mokshas, Maris, Udmurts, Komis, Khanty and Mansis), Samoyedic peoples (Nenets, Enets, Nganasan, Selkup) and Latvia’s Livonians, as well as cooperation with Saami people in Russia, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Kindred Peoples’ Programme is funded by the Republic of Estonia through its Ministry of Education and Science.

In 2015 a 4th national support programme was launched, with a planned duration of 5 years. Kindred Peoples’ Programme IV is a continuation to analogous programmes during 1999-2004, 2005-2009 and 2010-2014. This programme has been of crucial importance for the support and development of the languages and cultures of kindred peoples without their own statehood. The programme has also positively contributed to the efforts to develop civil society in Russia.
As a result of past programmes, over 200 youth from kindred peoples have been able to study in Estonian universities and the programme has funded several high-profile international events, including the 3rd and 4th World Congresses of Finno-Ugric Peoples, IX International Conference of Finno-Ugric studies and much more.

Kindred Peoples’ programme has also strengthened Estonia’s international image. Objectives of the programme continue to be highly relevant, given that their implementation requires a long-term effort. Presently, approximately 40 students from among kindred peoples are studying Estonia and continue to do so in the coming years.