Statute on Governing Native Peoples

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Statute on Governing Native Peoples


a legislative act in prerevolutionary Russia that, together with the Statute on the Siberian Kirghiz, determined the system of administration of the native peoples of Siberia. M. M. Speranskii helped draft the statute, which was promulgated in 1822.

The statute divided the native peoples of Siberia into three categories—settled, meandering, and nomadic. The peoples categorized as settled—mainly Siberian Tatars—had the same legal status as the Russian poll-tax-paying classes, that is, the petite bourgeoisie and the state peasants. Those classified as meandering—the Nentsi, Koriaks, Yukaghir, and other hunting peoples of northern Siberia—were governed through representatives of the local clan leadership; these representatives were known as kniaztsy and starosty. The peoples categorized as nomadic—the Buriats, Yakuts, Evenki, Khakass, and other peoples—had a local administrative body in every nomad camp and ulus (settlement of natives); the administrative bodies consisted of a starosta and one or two assistants. Several uluses or camps were combined under an office of native peoples.

The Statute on Governing Native Peoples permitted trade in Siberia, established the size of the iasak (tribute) and the methods for collecting it, confirmed the apportionment to the nomadic peoples of the lands on which they were living, and extended the Russian system of criminal law to the native peoples of Siberia. The local administrations and offices of native peoples that were created in accordance with the statute existed until the beginning of the 20th century.


Poln. sobr. zakonov Rossiiskoi imperii, vol. 38. [St. Petersburg] 1830. Number 29126.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.