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Policy towards Indigenous Peoples: Lessons to be learned!
December 4, 2017 @ 8:00 am - December 6, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
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:
- Redress for historical injustices imposed on Indigenous peoples and their struggle for indigenous rights
- Exploitation of natural resources by external powers in Indigenous communities and their resistance against them
- Linguistic and cultural revitalisation led by Indigenous peoples in the wake of cultural genocide under colonialism
- 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