Indigeneity in Waiting: Elusive Rights and the Power of Hope

22.3.2016 10:37

The research project Indigeneity in Waiting: Elusive Rights and the Power of Hope views legal and institutional advances concerning indigenous peoples, and the promise of such advances, as an integral part of the ways in which political power is exercised today.

kahden-palstan-Marjo-Heidi-Julian.jpgThere have been significant developments in the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples and in the participation of the peoples in political arenas. The adoption of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the establishment of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues are examples of such developments. These advances are deemed important for the improvement of the situation of indigenous peoples and they have engendered a perception that constant progress is taking place that promises a better future for the peoples.

The research project seeks to problematise this promise of progress in indigenous issues. This promise has created a new form of power that operates specifically through hope. Questions rights, progress and hope are studied in three contexts: Australia, Finland and Greenland.

A workshop to address questions of inclusion, power and indigeneity was organised in London on February 2016 by the postdoctoral researchers Lindroth and Sinevaara-Niskanen, and the professor of International Relations at the University of Westminster, David Chandler. The topics of workshop dealt with, for example, the role of indigenous knowledge and the different forms of colonialism in today’s world. Lindroth and Sinevaara-Niskanen presented their research on resilience, indigeneity and knowledge. Researchers from different disciplines from several British universities participated in the seminar.

The three-year project "Indigeneity in Waiting: Elusive Rights and the Power of Hope" (2016–2018) is funded by Kone Foundation. It is led by Professor Julian Reid, University of Lapland, Faculty of Social Sciences, and it employs postdoctoral researchers Marjo Lindroth from the Arctic Centre and Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen from the Unit for Gender Studies.

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