CfP: „Policy Towards Indigenous Peoples: Lessons to be Learned!

Centre for Environmental and Minority Policy Studies (CEMiPoS), Sapporo/Japan, 4-6 December 2017

This conference is organized by the Centre for Environmental and Minority Policy Studies, an independent research centre in Sapporo, in cooperation with the Ainu Women’s Association in Hokkaido (Ainu Moshir), the Hugo Valentin Centre, Uppsala University and the Northern Institute of Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland.

2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the historic adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by the UN General Assembly with overwhelming favorable votes. The purpose of the Declaration is to remedy the historical denial of the right of self-determination and related human rights. Indigenous peoples are, however, still suffering from and fighting against wounds caused by historical injustices imposed on them as well as ongoing development projects at the cost of Indigenous rights. Furthermore, the linguistic and cultural survival of indigenous peoples are in many ways threatened by the sweeping policies adopted by governments. What progress has been made for Indigenous peoples since the UNDRIP? It is a perfect time to examine, from the standpoint of Indigenous peoples, the outcomes and effects of the UNDRIP on them.

This conference aims to assess the existing policies towards Indigenous peoples at local, regional, and global levels by focusing on four key areas:

  1. Redress for historical injustices imposed on Indigenous peoples and their struggle for indigenous rights
  2. Exploitation of natural resources by external powers in Indigenous communities and their resistance against them
  3. Linguistic and cultural revitalisation led by Indigenous peoples in the wake of cultural genocide under colonialism
  4. Indigenous women on the front line of sufferings and struggles.

The conference will feature the participation of Sami and Ainu activists as keynote speakers for the plenary and other sessions, and will include a panel discussion on Japan’s Ainu policy by Ainu women. In addition, invitation to the conference is extended to students and activists interested or involved in Indigenous affairs, policymakers, government officials, journalists, artists, citizens, as well as Indigenous peoples and researchers across the globe. In spite of the size of the conference, we hope that it will mark a watershed in the development of equitable and sustainable policies towards Indigenous peoples.

Hiroshi Maruyama, Principal Organiser
Director, Centre for Environmental and Minority Policy Studies
Honorary Doctor and Guest Professor, The Hugo Valentin Centre, Uppsala University
Professor Emeritus, Muroran Institute of Technology

Call for Papers deadline: 1 May 2017

Registration: Summer 2017 (Deadline: 1 September 2017)

Participants interested in presenting at the Conference are recommended to choose their preferred area from the above-mentioned four key areas and to submit written abstracts (maximum: 250 words) referring to one of the following suggested topics.

Suggested topics:

  • Manipulation of colonial history by colonial powers
  • The teaching of indigenous history in the face of majority discourse
  • Towards the establishment of a truth and reconciliation committee
  • Language loss and revitalisation of endangered indigenous languages
  • Acquisition of language for indigenous identity
  • Promoting multilingualism for the cultural well-being of indigenous peoples
  • Security threats imposed on indigenous communities
  • Indigenous peoples as actors in the decision making of development projects
  • Sustainable development and CBD 8(j) in indigenous communities
  • Impacts of the UNDRIP on indigenous communities
  • Incorporating international human rights law into domestic law
  • Indigenous perspectives on Gender Studies
  • Indigenous women’s history
  • Women and power in the (post)colonial situation
  • Empowering indigenous women
  • Prospects for Indigenising academia and education
  • Indigenous masculinities

Abstract submission:

  • title of the abstract,
  • your affiliation,
  • email address,
  • 4-5 key words,
  • specification to which key area the paper is submitted (e-mail title: „Policy towards Indigenous People – Abstract Proposal“)

Whom to submit to: To Prof. Hiroshi Maruyama at this contact email.

A draft programme and initial information regarding acceptance of abstracts will be released at the beginning of June 2017.


  • No fee for participation will be charged.
  • Participants, excluding invited speakers, are responsible for the cost of their own travel, accommodation and other relevant expenses.
  • Bearing in mind that traffic paralysis caused by a snowstorm in Hokkaido may take place, participants are recommended to come to Sapporo two days before the conference or 2 December.
  • Sapporo has many options for lodging., AirBnb, and Trivago can assist in finding suitable accommodation. Given the recent popularity of Sapporo as a tourist destination, participants are urged to book their rooms well in advance, preferably in the heart of the city, in the vicinity of Sapporo Station.

For updated information, please follow the organizers here.

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