The international research project Indigeneity in Waiting: Elusive Rights and the Power of Hope
studies questions of rights, hope and indigeneity. It views legal and
institutional advances concerning indigenous peoples, and the promise of
such advances, as an integral part of the ways in which political power
is exercised today.
Significant institutional and legal advances concerning indigenous
peoples have taken place both on national and international levels
during the past two decades. The access of indigenous peoples to
state-based political arenas has been improved and their rights are
being increasingly negotiated and recognised. There is a sense of
progress and a promise that change for the better is taking place.
Indeed, the focus of both research and politics has been on these
institutional and formal developments that can be pinpointed. At the
same time, the perception that progress is taken place has remained
uncontested. The research project problematises this perception and
claims that the promise of progress has engendered a new form of power
that operates specifically through hope.
The project draws on three research contexts: Australia, Finland and
Greenland. All of these countries have substantial developments – or a
promise of such developments – in the status of indigenous peoples. The
issues to be studied will be the two-decade-long discussions on
ratifying ILO Convention 169 in Finland, the planned constitutional
changes that would finally recognise the indigenous peoples in Australia
and the rights of indigenous peoples after gaining self-government in
Greenland in 2009.
The project is led by Professor Julian Reid
, Faculty of Social Sciences and it employs two postdoctoral researchers: Marjo Lindroth
from the Arctic Centre and Heidi Sinevaara-Niskanen
from the Unit for Gender Studies, Faculty of Education. The research partners of the project are Professor David Chandler
(University of Westminster, London), Professor Mitchell Dean
(Copenhagen Business School), Senior Researcher Tanja Joona
(University of Lapland), Professor Francesca Merlan
(Australian National University, Canberra), Associate Professor Frank Sejersen
(University of Copenhagen) and Associate Professor Jeffrey Sissons
(Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand).
The project is funded by Kone Foundation (2016) and the Academy of Finland (2016-2020, decision no. 295557).