RMIT has co-hosted the first annual conference of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association ever held in the Pacific.
Based in the USA, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) is an international and interdisciplinary organisation for scholars, researchers, postgraduate students and community members interested in Indigenous Studies.
RMIT was one of three partner universities that co-hosted the recent Conference – the others were the University of Hawaii and the National Indigenous Research and Knowledge Network.
Professor Barry Judd from the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies said the decision to put in a bid for the conference was a result of the relationship RMIT had built with the University of Hawaii, Manoa over the past nine years.
“Co-hosting NAISA was an important step in developing the profile of RMIT as a University with capability to research issues of Australian and global indigeneity,” he said.
“The delegation was selected to showcase institutional capability and demonstrated our ability to engage with Indigenous issues on the world stage.“
Judd said it gave RMIT a chance to showcase its research and teaching links with Indigenous people and communities in our region on the international stage.
RMIT’s contingent included students and staff from the Ngarara Willim Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and local Elders.
“The inclusion of Elders and Community leaders underlined our strong commitment to work with grass roots Indigenous communities in the production of world class research,” Judd said.
“We hope the success of NAISA encourages the University to develop a strategic research capability around Indigenous-focused research, as a core component of its long-term research agenda.”
RMIT was involved in the conference’s organisation, as well as leading academic panels and cultural workshops.
The presentations and workshops included Budj Bim and Basket Weaving: Strengthening the Gunditjmara Nation in South Eastern Australia; Ngapartji Ngaparti: Finding Ethical Approaches to research; and Australian Perspectives and Cultural Safety: An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspective.
Story: Louise Handran