Indigenous studies has created an opening for indigenous peoples and their knowledge at the University.
Focus areas of the discipline include methods and research ethics of indigenous studies, the languages, arts, rights and history of indigenous peoples, as well as their epistemological and biocultural diversity. Indigenous studies is comparative in nature, transcending the boundaries of traditional disciplines.
While differences between indigenous peoples are at times great, they are united, for example, by experiences of colonisation. Environment is another central factor for many indigenous cultures. Many of them inhabit regions where the natural environment is richly diverse. Detailed knowledge accumulated by these peoples throughout generations is of particular importance when discussing changes in such regions. One example is the Arctic, home to more than 40 indigenous peoples. Indigenous languages comprise approximately 80% of all the languages in the world, yet they are the most endangered of all languages. Knowledge accumulated by indigenous peoples is materialised also in art, land use and means of livelihood. Understanding the perspectives of indigenous peoples is useful in many sectors of society.