Global movements and local historical events: Itelmens of Kamchatka appeal to the United Nations

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ABSTRACT

In this article, I examine the institutional, cultural, and discursive foundations of a historical event. I explicate global, transnational, national, intercultural, ethnic, regional, local, and personal realms of understanding as well as a range of discursive and pragmatic strategies as they came into play in a schoolroom meeting that led to the writing of a letter to the United Nations for help. The case presented is that of a group of people in a small, majority-indigenous village in Kamchatka in the Russian Far East, who, in 1993, after the collapse of the Soviet government and its support network, decided to turn to the United Nations for help.

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