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30 Sep 2015

Indigenous Resources: Decolonization and Development

This conference explores the cultural, political, economic, and environmental effects of decolonization processes, with emphasis on island and Arctic societies.

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. This conference will consider experiences of decolonizationfrom the perspectives of island studies, political science, anthropology, economics, postcolonialism, and other academic traditions. Presenters will include representatives from academia, government, and NGOs.Presentations are invited to address questions such as:• 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 indigenous societies compete in the global economy without losing their identity?• How can indigenous societies manage global environmentalproblems?•Can indigenous societies andformer colonial powers build mutually beneficial relationships?•How do ethnic groups brought together by colonialism copewith decolonization?• How does decolonization differ relative to the former colonialpower (Denmark, France, UK, USA, Spain, etc.)?• How are island communities and Arctic societies in particular affected by decolonization processes?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, Greenlandershave struggled to independently benefitfrom  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 missionaryin 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.


30 Sep 2015

4 Oct 2015


Ilisimatusarfik / University of Greenland

University of Greenland



English en

Organised by

Island Dynamics