Yamalo-Nenetsky autonomous okrug is a whole country in the centre of the Extreme North of Russia. It is situated in the north of the world largest West Siberian plain. The region occupies more than 750 thousand square kilometers (one and a half time as large than France). The northernmost continental point of the region is in 800 km from the Northern Polar circle outside of which lies more than 50 percents of the territory of Yamalo-Nenetsky autonomous okrug.
The region borders upon the Republic of Komi, Khanty-Mansiysky and Taimyrsky autonomous okrugs. The northern border is washed by the Arctic Ocean. The region consists of 7 cities and 6 districts.
The total number of population is about 500 thousand people, including 32 thousand representatives of the native peoples: the Nenets, the Khanty and the Selkups.
The capital of the region is Salekhard (former Obdorsk). The city was founded by Cossacks in 1595. Yamalo-Nenetsky autonomous okrug is the historical native land of the peoples of the North. Today the national structure of the population is like this: the Russians - 62,8 %, the Ukrainians - 5,8 %, the Tatars - 5,8 %, the Nenets - 4 %, the Khanty - 1,5 % and the Komi - 1 %.
During the Soviet period the first centres of culture appeared as soon as the region was organized. They solved such various problems as liquidation of illiteracy, and sanitary education. The first department of culture was organized in 1945 being attached to the district executive committee, and a cultural and educational school was established. The national and cultural politics, which had formed for decades, began to yield results. The only local writer of the first years of the Soviet power I.Nogo (the author of plays "Shaman" and "Vauli Piettomi", written in 1932-1934) acquired followers.