and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Norwegian Institute of Human Rights (NIHR) will host a single-day seminar
course with anthropologist Ronald Niezen (Ph.D.), Friday 4 May 9.15-16.00, at
the NIHR seminar room (Universitetsgata 22-24). A course outline is given
below, as well as a list of readings. Researcher Stener Ekern of the NIHR is in
charge of the course.
participants will be allowed to attend the seminar, with a maximum of 15 registrations.
Interested parties are asked to register no later than Friday 27 April by phone
(22842032) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
to Øyvind Henden at the NIHR.
seminar is intended to provide participants with an introduction to
anthropological, historical and political approaches to the rights (especially
the human rights) of Indigenous Peoples. The readings and lectures for this
seminar will show that “Indigenous Peoples,” as a legal, social,
and political category and source of identity, are of very recent origin. The
Indigenous Peoples movement began principally as a concept in international
law, and has since become a focal point of renewed political identity. The
questions this raises include the following: What are the conditions that
allowed this global form of identity to develop? What are the common
experiences, reflected in emerging human rights standards, of those who refer
to themselves as “Indigenous Peoples”? From an anthropological
perspective, what are the implications for nation-states of indigenous claims
to self-determination and cultural continuity? The effort to address these
questions will reveal the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to human
rights, above all the usefulness of social research for achieving a better
understanding of communities that are rediscovering and redefining their
political status and cultural distinctiveness.
Readings for the course
Kingsbury, Benedict. 1998.
“ Indigenous Peoples’ in International Law: A Constructivist
Approach to the Asian
Journal of International Law.
Niezen, Ronald. 2000. “
Recognizing Indigenism: Canadian Unity and the International Movement
of Indigenous Peoples.” Comparative
Studies in Society and History. 42(1):
a Canadian social anthropologist with teaching experience at Harvard and
extensive field work with Canadian aboriginal peoples. Dr. Ronald Niezen is
this spring visiting senior researcher the Åbo University Institute for
Human Rights. In Åbo, Dr. Niezen is working on a book on the global
indigenous movement in addition to teaching a course on anthropological
approaches to the rights of indigenous peoples. Among his publications are
Spirit wars : Native North American religions in the age of nation building
Defending the Land: Sovereignty and Forest Life in James Bay Cree Society.