Science & Education

NCIV is the only organization in The Netherlands that has a primary focus on the promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples. NCIV has been working for more than forty years to create awareness about indigenous peoples’ issues and to advocate the rights of indigenous peoples both in The Netherlands and at various United Nations fora. We are part of a large network of indigenous peoples’ organizations (IPOs), indigenous experts and experts on indigenous peoples’ issues, not only in The Netherlands, but in many parts of the world. Since 2002 NCIV is an NGO in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Currently NCIV is focusing on those issues that are both key to indigenous peoples and relevant in the current policy dialogues in The Netherlands, such as climate change, the millennium development goals, Corporate Social Responsibility) biofuels, protection of biodiversity and sustainable forest management. We consult IPOs on their views on these topics and then facilitate the dialogue with the relevant stakeholders in order to improve Dutch policies that impact the well-being of indigenous peoples. This also includes research policies of academic institutions.

Indigenous peoples have for centuries been objects of study by outside, mainly western scientists. Dr. Jelana Porsanger,  Associate Professor at the Sámi University College defines this  “research on, about and with indigenous people”, as research conducted by outsider researchers on their terms and for their own purposes or those of their institutions, regardless of how respectful and collaborative this kind of research might have been from the point of view of indigenous peoples themselves. She advocates “indigenous research”, defined as research done by scholars who develop indigenous theorizing, identify and use indigenous concepts, and build their projects on indigenous research paradigms. In her view, indigenous research must produce new knowledge which indigenous societies require and need for their own purposes and on their own terms. These purposes are to continue as indigenous peoples with their own distinctive culture, languages, traditional knowledge, philosophies, and world views.[1]

NCIV supports this idea of indigenous research aiming to build capacity of indigenous peoples on their own terms and for their own purposes. NCIV is therefore participating in two research proposals, related to the CoCooN (Conflict and Cooperation over Natural Resources in Developing Countries) research programme. These research proposals include capacity building of indigenous peoples in relation to resolving conflicts over natural resources. For more info on this project>>

Besides this, NCIV has initiated a research project on the impact of the Dutch economy on indigenous peoples. In this research we cooperate with indigenous organizations to implement part of the local research. For more info about our programme >>

What can we do for you?

NCIV is regularly invited to give lectures about indigenous peoples’ issues and rights at academic institutions or conferences in The Netherlands. NCIV also provides opportunities for students to do research or do a traineeship. For more information, please contact Mr. Leo van der Vlist, trough this form>>

Scientists and experts are also invited to register in our database. Please send an e-mail with your details and your expertise, through this form>>

[1] Dr. Jelena Porsanger, “Self-determination and indigenous research: capacity building on our own terms”, paper presented at United Nations, New York, 2010.




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About NCIV

Since 1969, NCIV is an NGO that supports the promotion, recognition and protection of indigenous peoples' rights. NCIV brings the issues and views of indigenous peoples to the attention of the Dutch government, civil society, business and science and works to encourage them to make a positive contribution to improving the situation of indigenous peoples at national and international levels.