First Advisor

Anna A. Alsufieva

Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in World Languages & Literatures: Russian and University Honors


World Languages and Literatures




Language policy -- Russia (Federation) -- Siberia, Indigenous peoples -- Education -- Russia (Federation) -- Siberia, Heritage language speakers -- Education -- Russia (Federation) -- Siberia, Language and languages -- Study and teaching -- Russia (Federation) -- Siberia




In the early years of the Soviet Union, state leaders were hesitant to create laws that would establish a national language. The USSR prided itself on multiculturalism and its ability to unify people from a variety of cultural backgrounds. As the Soviet Union became more established, ideations shifted from unity to uniformity. Indigenous languages from all over the country and various states were phased out, and the Russian language was implemented for children starting in primary school. Policies regarding heritage languages in primary and secondary schools stayed in place after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Now indigenous peoples living in the Russian Federation are concerned with the status of their languages. The laws state that each individual has the right to use their heritage language in all aspects of life, including government. However, these laws have not helped in the revitalization of indigenous languages around Russia, especially in Siberian republics where population numbers are sparse. This thesis explores the current language crisis that exists today in Siberia along with the relevant historical background regarding indigenous languages in Siberia. It discusses the education systems for indigenous communities, and the current struggle activists are facing in Siberia. Finally, the researcher addresses a hypothetical plan to revitalize languages in Siberia by combining scenarios from ex-Soviet countries and current Russian Republics that have reestablished their heritage languages despite the politicization of their languages.


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