ANU Dialogue: Indigenous People of the World

The ANU Dialogue: Indigenous People of the World is a series of public lectures hosted by NCIS and its pre-2005 existence – the ANU Institute for Indigenous Australia (ANUIIA). The Dialogue series brings together representatives of the international community to discuss with selected academics, both from our own institution and others, issues that are important for all of us to understand.

The inaugural ANU Dialogue was held in 2003 and focused on Indigenous Australians. The second ANU Dialogue, held in 2004, featured the Maori people of New Zealand.

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2008: in dialogue with the Native Americans

NCIS presented the fourth 'ANU Dialogue with the Indigenous Peoples of the World' series in collaboration with the Embassy of the United States of America. The dialogue focussed on the political and legal issues relevant to Native American territories. The Dialogue was moderated by NCIS Director, Professor Mick Dodson. Four renowned speakers debated why Australia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand voted against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and on the global struggle for the recognition of Indigenous rights to land. Professor Marcia Langton from the University of Melbourne and Dr Lisa Strelein, from the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and an Adjunct Scholar at NCIS, engaged with Professors Dalee Dorough and Rob Williams in a lively discussion on the territorial and human rights of Native Americans and Indigenous Australians.

L-R: Dr Lisa Strelein (AIATSIS), Professor Robert A. Williams Jr (University of Arizona), Professor Dalee Sambo Dorough (University of Alaska Anchorage), Professor Mick Dodson AM (Director, ANU National Centre for Indigenous Studies) & Professor Marcia Langton, University of Melbourne.

2005: in dialogue with the Saami people of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia

NCIS presented the third 'ANU Dialogue with the Indigenous Peoples of the World' series in collaboration with the National Institute of Social Sciences & Law and the National Europe Centre. The dialogue focused on the Saami people and issues of key importance to them, including landrights, self-determination, education and governance.

The Saami people live in four countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. They number around one hundred thousand, with ten different languages. The Saami traditionally have lived in what is now called a 'sustainable' way. There is a growing interest in, and respect for, Indigenous and traditional knowledge and especially the Saami's sustainable relationship with nature. Governments are now realising the importance of supporting Saami to maintain traditional ways of life, including traditional reindeer-herding and fishing practices.

Professor Ian Chubb AO (President and Vice-Chancellor of ANU) opened the program with a Welcome to Country by Ngunnawal Elder, Mrs Matilda House. Her Excellency Anelli Puura-Märkäkä (Ambassador of Finland), His Excellency Leonid Moiseev (Ambassador of the Russian Federation), Pekka Aikio (President of the Finnish Saami Parliament) and Jan Henry Kiskitalo (Director of Norwegian Saami Special Eduation Support) attended the event, representing each nation that the Saami inhabit.

L-R in traditional dress: Pekka Aikio (President of the Finnish Saami Parliament), Her Excellency Anelli Puura-Markala (Ambassador of Finland), Jan Henry Kiskitalo (Director of Norwegian Saami Special Education Support).

L-R: Professor Ian Chubb AO (President and Vice-Chancellor of ANU) , Pekka Aikio (President of the Finnish Saami Parliament), Jan Henry Kiskitalo (Director of Norwegian Saami Special Education Support), Professor Mick Dodson (Director of NCIS).

Professor Mick Dodson (Director of NCIS).

His Excellency Leonid Moiseev (Ambassador of the Russian Federation).

Ngunnawal Elder, Ms Matilda House, giving a Welcome to Country.

Ngunnawal Elder, Ms Matilda House, giving a Welcome to Country.

Jan Henry Kiskitalo (Director of Norwegian Saami Special Education Support).

Jan Henry Kiskitalo (Director of Norwegian Saami Special Education Support).

Pekka Aikio (President of the Finnish Saami Parliament) and Jan Henry Kiskitalo (Director of Norwegian Saami Special Education Support) answering questions from the audience.

Professor Mick Dodson (Director of NCIS).

Pekka Aikio (President of the Finnish Saami Parliament) presents a gift to Professor Mick Dodson (Director of NCIS).

Pekka Aikio (President of the Finnish Saami Parliament) presents a gift to Professor Mick Dodson (Director of NCIS).

Jan Henry Kiskitalo (Director of Norwegian Saami Special Education Support) presents a gift to Professor Mick Dodson (Director of NCIS).

Jan Henry Kiskitalo (Director of Norwegian Saami Special Education Support) and Professor Mick Dodson (Director of NCIS).

Pekka Aikio (President of the Finnish Saami Parliament) and Jan Henry Kiskitalo (Director of Norwegian Saami Special Education Support) with gifts from ANU.

L-R: Pekka Aikio (President of the Finnish Saami Parliament), Professor Mick Dodson (Director of NCIS, Jan Henry Kiskitalo (Director of Norwegian Saami Special Education Support).

2003: in dialogue with Australia's indigenous people

Address by Professor Ian Chubb, ANU Vice-Chancellor (2001 to 2011)

The Australian National University was established in 1946 by an Act of the Federal Government and its Act specifies for it a national and international role. It was expected to take its place among the great universities of the world – and it has. It was also expected to be one of the means through which the Commonwealth of Australia would align itself with the enlightened nations of the world. In that spirit, I have decided that Australia's national university should host a new forum for discussion, to be called the ANU Dialogues. In these ANU Dialogues, I will invite the Heads of Diplomatic Missions to the University to participate in a frank and informed discussion on a set series of topics involving distinguished academics from the University and also invited academics and commentators from other institutions and countries. Heads of Mission will be welcome to invite and bring with them two or three of their staff.

The first ANU Dialogue series will be on "Indigenous Peoples of the World". For the first ANU Dialogue in that series, "Australia's Indigenous People", I invite you to join me in the Common Room, University House, Balmain Crescent, Acton at 3.30 pm on Thursday September 25.

The appointment of Professor Mick Dodson as the inaugural Professor of lndigenous Studies reinforces the commitment of the University to the indigenous peoples of Australia through the enrichment of the scholarly and public understandings of Australian indigenous cultures and histories. Professor Dodson is an icon for indigenous communities in Australia and is a leader respected across the nation. His appointment offers an opportunity for the University to present significant Australian indigenous issues to the Heads of Diplomatic Mission resident in Canberra, and through them to the world at large.

Professor Dodson will be joined in presenting the first ANU Dialogue by the highly regarded anthropologist, Professor Marcia Langton, of the University of Melbourne. They will give an historical background to these issues and an overview of the current issues and will examine the questions of native title, the 'stolen generation' and self governance. A discussion on that presentation will follow, after which I invite all to share some hospitality before concluding. I would also welcome any suggestions you may have in the development of such an important series.

Updated:  17 November 2015/ Responsible Officer:  NCIS Project Coordinator/ Page Contact:  NCIS Administrative Officer