Writing for The Equal Times, journalist Carmen Grau interviews Ainu leaders Fumio Kimura, Shizue Ukaji,
The Centre for Environmental and Minority Policy Studies (CEMiPoS) was established in December 2016, taking advantage of the 2017 International Conference on Policy towards Indigenous Peoples in Sapporo.
It aims to support and empower ideological and ethnic minorities and Indigenous peoples, who have been suffering from systemic discrimination and violence derived from eugenics, racism, and colonialism. Our norm is protecting their human rights and promoting their human security against oppressive authorities through scholarly work: organizing academic conferences, producing art exhibitions and performances, contributing to international journals, and making English subtitles for Hokkaido Television Broadcast documentary films.
Our methodologies include crossing borders between disciplines, artists, and activists: collecting personal stories of minorities and Indigenous peoples against the established history by rulers/colonizers and connecting research to activism for decolonization.
Please contact us by: indigenouspolicy2017[at]gmail.com
Hiroshi Maruyama, Honorary Doctor, the Hugo Valentin Centre, Uppsala University in Sweden, and Professor Emeritus, Muroran Institute of Technology in Japan
Dr. Hiroshi Maruyama is Professor Emeritus at the Muroran Institute of Technology in Japan. The main focus of his research previously lay in rural Japanese locals’ struggle for social justice, local autonomy, and sustainability throughout their conflict with authorities over natural exploitation. Since participating in the Northern Research Forum in Oulu Finland in October 2006, he has been devoted to comparative indigenous policy studies based in the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland in Finland and in the Hugo Valentin Centre of Uppsala University in Sweden. Over the years, he has extensively published English articles and books in international publishers, including Indigenous Efflorescence: beyond revitalization in Sapmi and Ainu Mosir (2018, Australian National University Press) and Decolonizing Futures: Collaborations Towards Indigenous Rights Discourse in the Post-UNDRIP Era (2021, Hugo Valentin Centre of Uppsala University). In December 2016, he founded CEMiPoS (Centre for Environmental and Indigenous Policy Studies), which aims to support and empower marginalized people through scholarly work. In recent years he has been actively collaborating with promising/internationally recognized researchers of CEMiPoS and artists towards eliminating colonialism, racism and sexism through submitting comments and reports on indigenous Ainu people to UN human rights bodies, co-producing interdisciplinary performance between Amareya Theatre in Poland and Ainu women, co-organizing international conferences/seminars, et al. In January 2016, he was awarded Honoris Causa (Honorary Doctorate) from Uppsala University.
Kamrul Hossain, Director of the Northern Institute of Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland in Finland
Kamrul Hossain is a Research Professor and the Director of the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law (NIEM) at the Arctic Centre in the University of Lapland. He is an Adjunct Professor of Public International Law at the University of Lapland and the leader of the University of Arctic’s Thematic Network on Law. By training, his specialty lies in the field of international law. The focus of his research currently lies in international environmental law that applies to the Arctic as well as in human rights law, in particular concerning the rights of the indigenous peoples. Over the years, Prof. Hossain has extensively published in all areas of Arctic governance (climate change; marine environment, maritime de-limitation and law of the sea; human activities in the Arctic such as shipping and resource extractions including mining and, onshore and offshore oil and gas developments; marine bio-diversity conservation; and human rights and human security dimensions applicable to the Arctic) highlighting legal, institutional and policy perspectives. He has served as visiting professor, scholar and fellow in a number of foreign universities including University of Technology, Sydney; University of Toronto, Canada; Muroran Institute of Technology and Hokkaido University, Japan; Harbin Law School, China etc.
Leena Huss, Professor Emerita, Uppsala University in Sweden
Leena Huss is Professor Emerita at Uppsala University, Hugo Valentin Centre, in Sweden. She has published on reversing language shift in northern Scandinavia, contact linguistics and multilingualism, and edited and co-edited anthologies on managing multilingualism in Sweden, linguistic revitalization in education and language emancipation in Europe and beyond. Her research interests include language policies and language planning in Scandinavia and beyond, multilingualism, and linguistic revitalization. She recently wrote an evaluation of the Sami Language Centre in Sweden from a revitalization point-of-view for the government. She has a special interest in the revitalization of South Sami, and together with South Sami colleagues Sagka Stångberg and Patricia Fjellgren she has published articles and booklets on language revitalization in practice. Her present focus is on the impact of language loss and local revitalization efforts on health and wellbeing in Indigenous communities. During the last few years, she has cooperated closely with several colleagues belonging to an international circle of researchers which was formed after the Cemipos conference in Sapporo in December 2017.
Katarzyna “Kasia” Pastuszak, Dancer and Artistic Director, Theatre Amareya in Gdańsk, Poland
Dance/theatre researcher and academic teacher (PhD dissertation entitled Hijikata Tatsumi’s Ankoku butō – the Theatre of the body-in-crisis University of Gdańsk); dancer and artistic director of Amareya Theatre; adjunct associate professor of CEMiPOS (Centre for Environmental and Minority Policy Studies); a receiver of prestigious artistic scholarships (eg. “Młoda Polska” granted by the Polish Ministry of Culture). Since 2012, together with the Inuit Louise Fontain (Greenland/Norway) Kasia continues to develop the international performance project Nomadic Woman and develops the theory of artistic practice as a processual tool in the struggle for the recovery of identity and empowerment of indigenous women. Since 2017 co-operates closely with Prof. Hiroshi Maruyama, honorary member of Amareya Theatre and founder of CEMiPoS, and Menoko Mosmos of the Ainu Women Association (Sapporo). Since 2019, together with these partners, she develops the project Independent Without Borders: Pol(s)ka in Japan supported by the Polish Ministry of Culture through the programme “Cultural Bridges” operated by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Leni Charbonneau is currently pursuing her Master’s in Global Environmental History in Uppsala, Sweden, after having previously received a combined degree in Human Geography, Anthropology, and Environmental Studies. Through her work with Cemipos, she has lived in Sapporo to work under the guidance of Ainu leaders and local citizen groups. Her collaborations have also brought her to other Indigenous homelands, and she has spent significant time in Swedish and Norwegian Sapmi. Leni is motivated by questions concerning diverse environmental hermeneutics and knowledge systems in a world where global response to widespread ecological precarity is becoming increasingly important. However, she believes that the most radical and effective action must be grounded in a local sense of place… she finds hers by spending quality time in her beloved mountains and forests.
Masumi Tanaka is a curator at the Historical Museum of the Saru River in Biratori, Hokkaido. Under Professor Maruyama’s supervision she has been trained in a human rights approach to working for and with marginalized people. She has researched the traditional knowledge of local people in Kito, a small mountainous village in Shikoku Island in Japan, as a key social narrative to stop the Hosogouchi Dam project, which was planned by the Japanese government during her master’s program. She stayed in Vietnam (2004-2006) and Nepal (2006-2007) as an expert of environmental studies doing volunteer work coordinated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). She was a researcher at the University of Lapland Arctic Center in Rovaniemi, Finland from 2008 to 2013, and studied Sami traditional ecological knowledge and biodiversity conservation. Her current research interests include the decolonization of museology, the exploitation of nature and Indigenous peoples, and social justice and human rights education. In addition, she has been helping CEMiPoS organize the art and academic events since 2017, including the 2019 Amareya/Ainu performance in Sapporo, as a translator/interpreter.
Meindert Boersma is a freelance researcher, recently graduated in International Relations at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Originally drawn to the field interested in war and peace, his interest has shifted towards everyday modes of violence and oppression. This has motivated him to study the impact of Western knowledge and nation-building practices on marginalised people in East Asia. Writing his graduation thesis on how Westernised civilisational thought impacted Japanese practices towards the Ainu sparked his interest in the ongoing struggle of Ainu activists and advocacy groups, which led to his involvement with Cemipos and other activist collectives.