The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights
Faculty of Law
P.O. BOX 4 (visiting address: Yliopistonkatu 3)
Tel: +358 (0)29 4123140



"Indigenous epistemologies and methodologies – new approaches to teaching and research"

When: 3.00 pm – 07.30 pm on 31 October 2013

Where:University of Helsinki, AUD XII (address: Unioninkatu 34)

Indigenous peoples have been imagined as marginal people suppressed in the Western process of modernization. However, indigenous peoples’ new forms of political and cultural subjectivity and transnational collectivities have become visible and remarkable at local and global levels. The indigenous views of knowledge, learning, time, space, and conceptions of natural environment have contributed to so called decolonial cosmopolitanism.
It is important to situate research and teaching on indigenous conceptions and understand indigenous peoples’ current grassroot challenges in different historical, linguistic, cultural, and global contexts in university level research and teaching. What are indigenous epistemologies and methodologies, and how can they be placed in the Western institutes of science?
This discussion aims to bring together researchers, doctoral students, and all the people interested in indigenous issues to address indigenous approaches to teaching and research. We will also discuss opportunities to found a new multidisciplinary module on indigenous people at the Helsinki University. The one-day meeting includes addresses from invited speakers, follow-up discussions and collective brainstorming.

15.00 Opening words by Kimmo Nuotio (Dean of the Faculty of Law) and Janne Saarikivi (Professor, Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies)

Reetta Toivanen (University of Helsinki): Indigenous studies programs at universities

Harald Gaski (University of Tromsø): Experiences from founding Indigenous studies MA program at the University of Tromsø

Irja Seurujärvi-Kari (University of Helsinki): Experiences from multidisciplinary Sámi Studies at the University of Helsinki. Where are Sámi people?

Leena Heinämäki (University of Lapland): Indigenous peoples and participatory rights

16:30–16.50 Tea & Coffee

Aili Pyhälä (University of Helsinki/ Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona): How to work with different knowledge systems and epistemologies in indigenous research?

Andrea Luz Gutierrez Choquevilca (L’Ecole pratique des hautes etudes, Paris): Amazonian indigenous ways of knowing

Lea Kantonen (Finnish Academy of Fine Arts): Arts in indigenous research and studies

Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen (University of Helsinki): Creativity and indigenous methodology