White-Indian Relations: Moving into the 21st Century

The international and interdisciplinary symposium "White-Indian Relations: Moving into the 21st Century" was held at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg from May 14-17, 2009. The symposium served as a discourse with and not only about Native Americans and First Nations as well as looked at Native literature, culture, and contemporary history from an interdisciplinary angle, concentrating on:

  • Politics - New Frontiers: Indian-White Relations in the Political, Economic, and Ecological Realm
  • Ethnology - Issues dealing with Sacred Remains from Archaeological Sites and Ritual Artefacts in Museums
  • Humanities - Resistance and Cooperation in Contemporary Literature, Film, and the Arts
  • Educational Systems - The Role and Function of Native Educational Systems: Education and Vocation as Tools of Post-Colonial Power

The lion's share of the published research in the field of Native American and First Nations Studies has almost exclusively focused on the past. Topics widely discussed include: the one-sided annihilation of Natives beginning with a serious misapprehension of Columbus over 500 years ago; the ensuing racism and oppression of Natives in its various forms; stereotyping; and the mutual distrust of Natives and Whites. The WIR Symposium, however, went beyond these topics to fill the gaps of less discussed areas of research and to preview future possibilities and possible pitfalls of living together.