FDCIP / SOGIP programme 2014

FDCIP 2014

Education, Learning and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights:
What knowledge, skills and languages for sustainable livelihoods?

Tromsø 2-4 April 2014

The project SOGIP – Scales of Governance : The UN, the States and Indigenous Peoples (Paris, France) and the Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples (FDCIP) (Tromsø, Norway) are jointly organizing an international conference: Education, Learning and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: What knowledge, skills, and languages for sustainable livelihoods? that will explore the role education plays in Indigenous peoples’ efforts: to achieve political recognition; to uphold their rights; to continue to practice their culture and speak their own languages; to maintain their specialized systems of knowledge and skills and to access economic resources necessary for survival.

Indigenous peoples around the world struggle to find their place and voice within educational systems designed by and for dominant populations. The Right to education is guaranteed in numerous international mechanisms, and Education for All is an international goal and a primary focus of development organizations. However, for indigenous peoples, formal education has historically been associated with a loss of language, culture, and traditional knowledge – coupled with low success rates within such education systems. Indigenous languages very rarely are languages of education, and indigenous ways of knowing and doing are generally nor valued, leading both to difficulties for indigenous students, as well as loss of these knowledge systems and ways of understanding the world.

Although there are serious problems, Indigenous peoples are not only educational “victims” – but are also designing their own educational approaches, and producing knowledge about themselves. In the academic field we are witnessing the establishment of indigenous research institutions, indigenous programs and centers, and integration of indigenous themes in research and education. We are also seeing the establishment of community-based learning centers and other approaches to education that build upon the home languages and culture, while providing access to “mainstream” skills necessary to participate in the wider political, economic and social arenas.

What kind of approach will best facilitate positive outcomes for indigenous peoples – not only in terms of educational success, but also economic opportunity, cultural and linguistic maintenance, relationships within the community and with other parts of society, and their ability to advocate for their rights? What can development partners and academics contribute?

The organizers wish to reach out to participants from the fields of research and development cooperation, as well as to anyone with an interest in indigenous peoples and indigenous education. The conference will include various activities, including short presentations, roundtables, discussions, and poster presentations.


The Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples is a meeting place for researchers, development workers and Sámi organizations engaged in cooperation with indigenous peoples on a global level. By initiating important debates about policies and practice, the Forum seeks to improve the quality of Norway’s development co-operation with indigenous peoples globally. The Forum has arranged annual conferences since year 2000.

The project SOGIP (Scales of Governance : The UN, the States and Indigenous Peoples), funded by the European Research Council (ERC 249236), conducts a comparative study on the implementation of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other indigenous rights mechanisms in several countries on five continents. The SOGIP workshop series consists of four conferences on various aspects of indigenous rights. The Tromsø meeting will be the third one in this series.

Supporting partner:

The research group Komparative Urfolksforskning – Research Group on Comparative Indigeneity (KURF) is an interdisciplinary research group at the University of Tromsø whose main goal is to provide a forum for scholars, students, and community members with interest in indigenous peoples to engage in a productive academic dialogue, and share research ideas and findings.

Day 1 – Theme:
Reflections on Indigenous Education:

Wednesday April 2 2014

The first day will focus on defining the fundamental issues and questions around indigenous education. The keynote speaker will introduce the issue from the global perspective of the global indigenous rights movement. The following three sessions will delve deeper into the complex challenges of indigenous education, referring both to cross-cutting global issues and describing specific local cases as illustration.

Bus from Rica Grand Hotel 10:00
Registration 10:00–10:45
Opening 10:45–11:00


Marie-Theres Federhofer, vice dean: Opening address

Irène Bellier (SOGIP) and Torjer A. Olsen (FORUM)

Keynote speaker: Jannie Lasimbang, Leader of the Expert Mechanism of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) Study on Education (Malaysia): “Education, Learning and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights: Promoting and Protecting Indigenous Learning / Education systems”

Session 1) 11:45-13:30 ROUNDTABLE – ISSUES and CHALLENGES:
Defining the problem after the UNDRIP

Jens Dahl, IWGIA (Denmark)

Luis Enrique Lopez (Peru): “The Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Education of the Indigenous Population: Rhetoric vs. Reality”

Sheila Aikman, Senior Lecturer in Education and Development, School of International Development, University of East Anglia (UK): “Challenging the Dominance of ‘Education as Schooling'”

Discussion with audience, Moderator: Jennifer Hays (SOGIP)

Lunch 13:30
Session 2) 14:30-16:15 Indigenous experiences with education, and responses

Carol Blackburn, University of British Columbia (Canada): “Addressing the Legacy of Residential Schools in Canada: Litigation and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission”

Kuela Kiema (Botswana): “Walking on a Tight Educational Rope: Personal Experiences from Meeting the State School system, and Reflections on Bokamoso Educational Trust”

Svein Lund, Editor of Sámi School History, Vol. 1-6 (Norway): “Education for Sámi People in Four Countries. Some Preliminary Conclusions and Experiences from Attempts to Make a Common Research”

Tatiana Bulgakova, Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg (Russia): “The Role of Boarding Schools in the Transformation of Indigenous Culture in Siberia”

Moderator: Sidsel Saugestad (KURF, UiT)

Coffee break  16:15-16:30
Session 3) 16:30-18:15 How can teaching and learning be redefined? Knowledge transmission strategies in contemporary indigenous communities

Ellen-Rose Kambel, Director of the Rutu Foundation for Intercultural Multilingual Education (Netherlands / Suriname): “Resisting the One-Size-Fits-All Model of Learning in Suriname: Empowering the Teachers”

June Oscar and Kim Anderson, Marnininwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre in Fitzroy Crossing (Australia): “Teaching, Understanding and Connection: Indigenous Education in Australia”

Serena Heckler, UNESCO (France): “Community Approaches to Indigenous Education: A UNESCO LINKS Project with the Mayangna People of Nicaragua”

Moderator: Rowena Dickins-Morrison (SOGIP)

Reception 18:30 At Árdna, the Sami cultural building at the UiT Campus. Meal.
Bus to Rica Grand Hotel 21:00

Day 2 – Theme:
Educational Models – Ideals in Practice.

Thursday April 3 2014

The focus of this day will be on presenting various models that seek to address the educational problems that indigenous individuals and communities face. There are many different approaches, with different priorities, and many different ‘stakeholders’ (indigenous communities and individuals, local / international NGOs / development organizations, states, donors) involved. The cases presented will explore relations between these various actors, and will provide examples of how the issues discussed on day one are playing out in various settings. What kind of development cooperation is needed to support indigenous education efforts?

Registration 08:15
Bus from Rica Grand Hotel 08:30
Session 1) 09:00–10:30 Language issues in indigenous education

Isabelle Leglise and Valelia Muni Toke (France): “Multilingualism Everywhere: “Linguistic Rights” Nowhere? Education and Monolingual Ideology in French Guyana, in a comparison with Wallis, South Pacific”

Jacques Vernaudon, Université de la Polynésie Française (France – via SKYPE): “Teaching Oceanic Languages in New Caledonia and French Polynesia: Political Intentions and Pedagogic Practice”

Biret Anné Bals Baal and Trond Trosterud, University of Tromsø (Norway): “Creating Successful Second Language Users: Presenting a Different Philosophy”

Moderator: Velina Ninkova (KURF, UiT)

Coffee break  10:30-10:45
Session 2) 10:45–12:45 Formal education: introducing indigenous friendly education (primary and secondary)

Pedro Moye Noza, Indigenous Confederation of Bolivia (CIDOB) (Bolivia): “For an Indigenous Education of the Lowlands of Bolivia”

Jorge Quilaqueo (Chile): “A Look at the Reality of Formal Education in a Multicultural Mapuche Context in Chile”

Vuokko Hirvonen, Sámi University College / University of Tromsø (Norway): “Indigenous Friendly Education in Sápmi”

Kajsa Kemi Gjerpe, University of Tromsø (Norway): “The Representation of Sámi Culture and Language in Norwegian Curricula – from 1939 to 2006”

Moderator: Leslie Cloud (SOGIP)

Lunch  12:45-13:45
Session 3) 13:45–14:45 Alternative education projects of indigenous communities / peoples

Silvia Macedo, Federal University of Sao Paulo – UNIFESP (Brazil): “”We Go to School to Know More.” Exploring Indigenous Education Initiatives of the Wajãpi Indians in the Brazilian Amazon”

Tsemkgao (Fanie) Cwi, Nyae Nyae Village Schools Teacher (Namibia) and Bruce Parcher, NAMAS (Namibia): “The Nyae Nyae Village Schools – Progress and Challenges for Indigenous Education in Namibia”

Moderator: Irene Bellier (SOGIP)

Coffee break with poster presentation  14:45-15:30 Poster presentation by students on the Master’s of Indigenous Studies program / Computer station with Trond Trosterud
Session 3) continued 15:30–16:30 Live Bjørge, SAIH (Norway): “Education for Liberation, SAIH’s Support to Indigenous Peoples’ Education in Latin America”

Ganesh Devy, Literary Critic and Cultural Activist (India): “Tradition, Aphasia and Modernity for the Adivasis and Nomads in India”Discussion

Bus to Rica Grand Hotel 17:00
Conference dinner 19:30 At Grand Rica Hotel

Day 3 – Theme:
Education as the “key to the future” – but what future?

Friday April 4 2014

The focus of this day will be on how to move forward, considering the issues presented on the first day, and the practical cases and efforts described on day two. Beginning with a panel on higher education and indigenous peoples, links will be made between the broader questions of what education means for indigenous peoples, the practical challenges of addressing indigenous education needs, and broader social, political, environmental, economic and cultural consideration – and what this means for development cooperation with indigenous peoples.

Registration 08:15
Bus from Rica Grand Hotel 08:30
Session 1) 09:00–10:30 ROUNDTABLE – Indigenous peoples and higher education

Asta Mitkijá Balto, Sámi University College (Norway): “Native Language as Medium in Higher Education – Language and Cultural Revitalization in Hawai’i and Sápmi”

Bjørg Evjen, SESAM, University of Tromsø (Norway): “Masters of Indigenous Studies, University of Tromsø, Norway”

Alta Blandford, URACCAN – The University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast (Nicaragua)

Sidsel Saugestad, University of Tromsø (Norway): “North-South Collaboration with the San Research Centre, University of Botswana”

Moderator: Bjørg Evjen (SESAM, UiT)

Coffee break  10:30-10:45
Session 2) 10:45–12:15 Perspectives on development cooperation with Indigenous Peoples’ education project

Vidar Wie Østlie, NAMAS (Norway): “Education for What? Norwegian Development Assistance and Indigenous Education in Namibia”

Emilie Ørneseidet, SAIH (Norway)

Lorelou Desjardins, Rainforest Foundation (Norway)

Eva Marion Johannessen (Norway)

Moderator: Torjer Olsen (SESAM, UiT)

Lunch  12:15-13:15
Session 3) 









Comments on Education and Indigenous Rights











Education in the bigger picture: Education for Self Determination

Laura Junka-Aikio (Finland): “Deconstruction, “Truth”, and the Politics of Postmodernity: Indigenous Education and the Debate on Who is a Sámi in Finland”

Marie Salaün, Université de Nantes (France): “Postcolonial Education Ideologies and Self-Determination: Is “Indigenous Sovereignty” an Oxymoron”

Karl Kristian Olsen, Head of Department of Education and Research at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Church and Gender Equality (Greenland): “Reforms in Education in Greenland”

Moderator: Veronica Gonzalez (SOGIP)


Silje Muotka, Sámi Parliament (Norway) and Torgeir Knag Fylkesnes, Socialist Left Party (Norway)

Wrap up of the conference and concluding remarks 15:10–15:30  Jennifer Hays (SOGIP), Irene Bellier (SOGIP) and Torjer Olsen (FORUM)

NOTE: Program subject to change

Practical Information

Tromsø University Campus, Teorifagbygget, House 1, Auditorium 2
Map of the University of Tromsø

Transport between the conference hotel “Rica Grand Hotel” and the venue will be organised at scheduled times.

Homepage for Rica Grand Hotel

E-mail: jorn.weines@uit.no

English, Sami and Spanish. Simultaneous translation via English.

Conference fee

1 day (with lunch) NOK 875 (inc. mva) 1 day (without lunch) NOK 625 (inc. mva)
2 days (with lunch) NOK 1375 (inc. mva) 2 days (without lunch) NOK 875 (inc. mva)
3 days (with lunch) NOK 1875 (inc. mva) 3 days (without lunch) NOK 1125 (inc. mva)
Conference dinner April 3 NOK 812,50 (inc. mva)

Students at UiT can register at no cost (no lunch).