Workshop on Hunter Gatherer Education: Directions for Research and Advocacy, 24-25 September 2019

We invite presentations for and participation in the workshop Hunter Gatherer Education:  Directions for Research and Advocacy to be held 24-25 September 2019 at the University of Tromsø, the Arctic University of Norway.  This workshop follows the establishment of the Research and Advocacy Group on Hunter-Gatherer Education (HG-EDU), launched at the Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS) in July 2018. An important aim of this group is to use research-based understanding to contribute to educational self-determination for hunter-gatherer communities (see the working statement for the group here).

The focus of this 2-day workshop will be the educational challenges faced by hunters and gatherers and post-foragers. While such groups share the struggles of other indigenous peoples, they also face particular difficulties related to small group size, egalitarian social structures, habitation in very remote locations, and extremely marginal social status; most groups are also currently experiencing rapid loss of territory and autonomy. The educational aspects of the challenges faced by hunter-gatherer groups, the ways that education connects with issues of land, culture, and livelihood, and the relevance of traditional knowledge and educational strategies were discussed and outlined at the HG-EDU workshop held at the CHAGS conference.

Taking these global patterns and discussions as a point of departure, this workshop invites papers addressing both specific local cases of hunters and gatherers and their educational situations, and international aspects of this issue. An overarching question will be how research can contribute to educational self-determination for hunter-gatherer communities. What kinds of research are needed, and how can researchers collaborate with hunter-gatherer communities to further their own educational aspirations? What choices are communities and individuals making about education, and what resources are available to support them? What are the current educational options for hunter-gatherer communities, and how do these relate to livelihood opportunities? What is the relationship between the extremely local dilemmas faced by small hunter-gatherer communities, and the large-scale global driving forces that affect them (including economic development; mining other large-scale industries and projects; global education campaigns)? Where is research and advocacy best targeted? A concluding session of the workshop will determine next steps and future activities for the research and advocacy group HG-EDU.

The two-day workshop will also be held in conjunction with the International Conference on Indigeneity and Education (26-27 September 2019, hosted by the Centre for Sami Studies) which will include a panel presenting the issues discussed at the Hunter Gatherer Education workshop. Participants in the workshop are welcome to stay and attend that conference as well.

The Workshop is hosted by the Social Anthropology section of the Institute of Social Sciences, UiT and the Research Group on Comparative Indigeneity (KURF).


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Fieldwork update Velina Ninkova

As I am writing this, I am preparing to leave Ghanzi, Botswana, and move to the capital of Gaborone. Before that, I spent 8 incredible months working with the small Ju/’hoan community of Skoonheid, close to the Botswanan border. It was one of the most challenging and touching experiences of my life – getting to know and bonding with people who seemed so distant from me at the beginning, and with whom I ended up sharing so much in common.

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The last 5 weeks in Botswana I spent most of my time visiting schools in Ghanzi township and the scattered villages around. It has been very interesting to draw comparison between two similar, and yet different circumstances for the local San population.

Today I am leaving for Gaborone, where I will spent a bit over a month at the University of Botswana, affiliated with the Center for San Research. Coming up in Gaborone is a weekly seminar on San-related topics, and I am looking forward to participating in it.

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