Faculty of Arts


Indigenous Environmental Politics


Healthy rivers, lakes, oceans, air, forests and whenua are fundamental to the physical, social, cultural, economic and metaphysical wellbeing of indigenous peoples. Capitalist colonial appropriation, control and exploitation of lands, waters, forests and other resources has resulted in ecological, social and economic disruption and distress for Māori and other indigenous peoples.

This course examines contemporary issues related to indigenous peoples and the environment. Particular focus will be on the interface between indigenous peoples, governments and corporates. 

Topics will include indigenous responses to environmental degradation; indigenous peoples and extractive industries; sustainable and unsustainable development; local, national and global indigenous protest movements; land and treaty rights; traditional knowledge and resource protection; and indigenous peoples and climate change.

At the completion of this course students should be able to demonstrate

  • A critical appreciation of the range of indigenous response to contemporary environmental issues including direct action protest and environmental activism
  • An understanding of the relationships between global corporates and indigenous communities
  • A familiarity with the key thinkers and debates in the scholarship pertaining to indigenous environmental issues
  • A strong understanding of the interface between land and treaty rights and environmental justice
  • An understanding of the interconnected and interdependent relationship between healthy people and healthy ecosystems

The Master of Indigenous Studies is in its 3rd year. Currently it only has INDIGEN 700 (Indigenous Theories) as a specific content course. It is critical for the integrity of the degree that there is a suite of courses that are strongly situated within an Indigenous Studies curriculum and where the theories, methodologies and pedagogy are indigenous.  A focus on Te Tai Ao is an important element of such a curriculum.

Availability 2019

Semester 1




INDIGEN 711: 30.0 points

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