Pimachesowin for the Sakha (Yakut) People of Northeastern Siberia | Кри норуот Пимачисуин өйдөбүлэ Сибиир хотугулуу-илин Саха норуотугар


  • Mariia Iakovleva University of Saskatchewan




Sakha (Yakut), Olonkho, Aiyy Yorege, Pimachesowin, Indigenous Knowledge, Siberia, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Traditional Culture and Beliefs


This article provides a case study of the Sakha (Yakut), an Indigenous People in Northeastern Siberia, and their concept of Aiyy Yorege, which shares a similar meaning as pimachesowin (making a good life), a Cree word. The Sakha (Yakut) concept is reflected in the fundamental epic tale known as Olonkho, which constitutes the framework for the belief, culture, traditional knowledge, laws, and language of the Sakha (Yakut) People. The article introduces the main ideas of the tale and its narrative whereby people find the basis for their self-determination. Furthermore, this article elucidates the political events of the Soviet period and the ways it impacted the Sakha (Yakut) People with their traditional culture silenced under the policy of unification, and how this was followed by a period of resurgence in the late twentieth century after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Throughout the article, parallels are drawn between the Sakha (Yakut) and the Cree People in Northern Saskatchewan, specifically in relation to the aspiration of sustaining a good way of living. This article is a chapter in the open textbook Indigenous Self-Determination through Mitho Pimachesowin (Ability to Make a Good Living), developed for the University of Saskatchewan course Indigenous Studies 410/810 and hosted by the Northern Review.

Author Biography

Mariia Iakovleva, University of Saskatchewan

PhD Candidate, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy; Sakha (Yakut) from the northeastern region of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in Siberia. Her research interests include energy policy, northern and Indigenous communities, governance and development.





Exploring the Concept of Mitho Pimachesowin