Indigenous Resources: Decolonization and Development

Organization: Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland

Venue: Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland

Location: Nuuk, Greenland

Event Date/Time: Sep 30, 2015 End Date/Time: Oct 04, 2015
Registration Date: Jun 15, 2015
Early Registration Date: May 15, 2015
Abstract Submission Date: Apr 30, 2015
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This conference explores the cultural, political, economic, and environmental effects of decolonization processes, with emphasis on island and Arctic societies. With small populations and limited habitable land areas, decolonization influences Arctic and island communities in special ways. Colonialism introduced global economics, politics, and culture to many societies. Once the colonial power is expelled or seeks to withdraw, indigenous peoples often face limitations to sovereignty, human resources, and economic capacity that make it difficult to overcome the challenges associated with geographic isolation and peripherality.

How do indigenous societies make the cultural transition away from colonial domination? What political comprises are made to balance desires for self-determination and economic vitality? Can such societies compete in the global economy without losing their identity? How can they manage global environmental problems? Can indigenous societies and former colonial powers build mutually beneficial relationships? How do ethnic groups brought together by colonialism cope with decolonization? This conference explores these and other questions from the perspectives of island studies, political science, anthropology, economics, postcolonialism, and other academic traditions. Presenters will include representatives from academia, government, and NGOs.

Nuuk: An Arctic indigenous capital.

Greenland, a self-governing region of Denmark, is both the world’s largest island and the only Arctic indigenous territory with an agreed-upon path toward independence. Yet with a population of just 57,000 and a reliance on Danish aid and labour, Greenlanders have struggled to independently benefit their wealth of natural resources and proud Inuit culture.

Nuuk’s status as Greenland’s capital has granted it outsized political, cultural, and economic importance relative to its small population (16,500). Founded by a Danish missionary in 1728, Nuuk is home to Greenland’s parliament, university, museums, a shopping centre, modern high-rises, decaying apartment blocks, expanding suburbs, and persistent divides between Inuit and Danish residents. Nuuk illustrates both the promise and the pitfalls of development after decolonization.

On 30 September-2 October, delegates will explore Nuuk, speaking with local residents, politicians, and businesspeople concerning Greenland’s progress toward political, economic, and cultural independence. Delegates will also take a day-long boat tour out into the fjords to better understand the harsh yet beautiful nature that helped shape Greenlandic society. 3-4 October will be devoted to academic presentations held at Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland.

How to make a presentation: The deadline for abstracts is 30 April 2015. However, to ensure that you have time to seek funding from your institution or government in advance of registration, we recommend that you submit your abstract early via the conference website.



Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland