The “Public Workshop on Indigenous Internationalism in Context” will gather international scholars who focus on Indigenous internationalism and its history. This may include research on global Indigenous organizations (like the World Council of Indigenous Peoples - WCIP), transnational Indigenous organizations (like the Saami Council), individual Indigenous internationalists, international Indigenous conferences, and Indigenous activity at the United Nations. It fits well within the Program for Sami Research III (SAMIC) subtopic of “Sami identity and community building.”
The workshop will serve as a starting point towards the establishment of an international collaborative research project on Indigenous internationalism. The personal and institutional connections established at the meeting will form the initial network necessary to develop the larger project.
The workshop will contribute new knowledge about Sámi history, and encourage the use of comparative and transnational perspectives to research the Sami community, and its institutions, particularly the Saami Council. The very nature of the conference ensures a focus on the relationship between in Sápmi and between Sápmi and other Indigenous communities and international actors. Sámi participation in international organizations has undoubtedly shaped the Sámi identity as Indigenous peoples part of a broader global movement.
International activism has been a central focus for Indigenous leadership since the mid-1970s, and this workshop will shed light on the successes and failures of that strategy. With the passing of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007, Sámi and other Indigenous peoples reached a new level of international prominence. By examining the movement of Indigenous internationalism through the critical lens of scholarship, we may be able to provide helpful insights to global Indigenous leaders as they move forward in the 21st century.