Invitation to the Conference Indigeneity in the Arctic: Local and Global Experiences

Invitation to the Conference

Indigeneity in the Arctic: Local and Global Experiences

Alkuperäiskansaisuus arktisella alueella: paikalliset ja globaalit kokemukset

January 19-20, 2017

University of Helsinki, Finland

You can also find the event on Facebook:

The registration is now open!

The two day conference on Indigeneity in the Arctic: Local and Global Experiences will take place on Thursday 19th of January 2017 from 08.45 to 17.30 and Friday 20th of January from 9.00 to 17.00. The venue is University of Helsinki’s Metsätalo, Lecture room 1 (Unioninkatu 40, Helsinki).

The conference examines the concept of ‘indigenous peoples’ as an international and global phenomenon, and the unique processes through which this concept is applied to, lived and translated for each local situation. What do the concepts ”indigenous peoples” and “indigeneity” mean? Are they terms that promote indigenous and human rights, or are they tied to changing power relations in discursive ways? What is the role of these terms in the Finnish context? What are the past and current experiences of indigeneity?

Indigenous peoples’ experiences are closely tied to colonialism, which has shaped indigenous languages, cultures, and livelihoods. But, how is colonialism experienced at micro-levels? What kind of forms did and does colonialism(s) take? How is colonialism reflected in the current research on indigenous peoples? Who defines and decides on research subjects and research topics?

The second day of the conference examines the Arctic and especially Sámi peoples issues. It aims to open new perspectives to the history and presence of indigenous peoples in the Arctic’s multicultural and -lingual history. By bringing together several disciplines, the aim is to foster academic research on understanding the local indigenous communities and the borders of ‘indigeneity’. During the conference, a broad range of standpoints, results and research problems will be put in enriching, constructive dialogue to provide new insights into the studies on ‘indigeneity’.

Keynote speakers:

Ulf Mörkenstam, Associate Professor/Senior lecturer, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Stockholm

Michelle Harris, Director, Institute for Global Indigeneity, University of Albany (SUNY)

Else Grete Broderstad, Professor, Centre for Sámi Studies, University of Tromsø.


The registration is now open! Please fill in the online registration form here: The event is open to the public and free of charge for all participants but a registration before January 10, 2017 is compulsory. The available places will be filled in the order of registration. Participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements. A detailed schedule will be announced closer to the event. The event will be held in English.

The venue is wheelchair accessible and there are places for 3-4 wheelchairs at the back of the lecture room.

Organisers and contacts:

In case you have any questions, please contact

Reetta Toivanen, Dr. Docent, University Lecturer, Academy of Finland project On ”Glocal” governance: On the meanings and consequences of the ”vernacularization” of Human Rights Concepts (2010-2016), University of Helsinki (, project homepage

Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen, Assistant Professor, Dr. Docent, Indigenous Studies, University of Helsinki (