Forum invitation 2007


”Indigenous Peoples – Migration and Urbanisation”

We hereby invite you or your organization to this year’s conference hosted by the Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples. The conference takes place at the University of Tromsø on October 18th – 19th 2007. The title of the Forum conference 2007 is ”Indigenous Peoples – Migration and Urbanisation”.

This year’s conference will focus on aspects of migration and urbanisation. We have asked for papers that will trace the reasons for migration, including push factors that range from poverty to forced eviction, and pull factors such as access to education and new economic opportunities. We also focus on urban living conditions and the basis for social and political organisation.

Central in the Indigenous struggle has been the close ties to the land and the quest for control over traditional territories. Still, an increasing number of Indigenous people live outside their traditional land and/or derive their means of livelihood from sources other than customary land use. A central question will then be to explore how indigenous identity is expressed and maintained in new urban settings. The speakers will in different ways address the questions above.

Among our speakers is Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj who was born in the city of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. From 1986 to 1997 she worked as a journalist and later as editor of the weekly newspaper El Nuevo Quetzalteco in the city of Quetzaltenango. In 1998 she entered the Graduate School of the University of Texas at Austin, and received a Master’s degree in Anthropology. Then she enrolled in the Ph.D. Program in Anthropology. She conducted the dissertation field research in the Departments of San Marcos and Retalhuleu in Guatemala.

Another of our speakers is Geraldine Doco from the Philippines. She is Regional Council member in the Cordillera Peoples Alliance. Geraldine Doco is Spokesperson and writer on major issues and concerns, and situation of urban poor communities in Baguio city. Both as an activist and writer Geraldine Doco has been concerned with Indigenous urban poor communities and on Indigenous People’s rights and interest.
From South Africa: Dr Petro Esterhuyse an anthropologist from the University of the Free State, with experience in research on migration and identity; Priscilla De Wet an indigenous activist and academic, with a Masters in Indigenous Studies from University of Tromsø and currently involved with the KhoeSan Culture and Memory Project at the University of Free State; Jean Burgess a pioneer activist, detainee during apartheid and leader of the Gonoqua Khoekhoe in Eastern Cape will focus on the situation of the Khoekhoe who were amongst the first Indigenous Peoples to experience urbanisation. The speakers will present different aspects from both an academic and an activist point of view.

“Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples” was established in 2000, and is a meeting place for researchers, development workers, administrators and activists working with indigenous peoples’ issues, and where they can share experiences from their work with different development projects related to indigenous peoples. The Forum has a Board located with the Centre for Sámi Studies at the University of Tromsø, with external representation from other research institutions, Indigenous advocacy NGOs and the Sámi Council. The Forum provides a focus on national and transnational strategies concerning indigenous peoples, and how this influences the capacity and ability of indigenous peoples to shape and control their own development.

The conference program and information will be published on this homepage: The conference languages will be English, Spanish and Sami. Please register for this year’s Forum conference by using the registration form on our web pages: The number of participants is limited to 200. The registration deadline is set to October15th 2007.


Georges Midré
Leader of the advisory board
Forum for Development Cooperation with Indigenous Peoples

Terje G. Lilleeng
Senior Executive Officer