Columbia University Launches Open Online Course ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Rights’ on

Course Examines Interface of Indigenous Peoples Movement and International Community
Wednesday, October 28, 2020

NEW YORK, New York. Columbia University has released an open online course, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, to examine how Indigenous Peoples have been contesting norms, institutions and global debates in the past 50 years, and how they have been re-shaping and gradually decolonizing these systems at international and national levels. The self-paced course is free and open to all on with an optional paid verified certificate program.

Indigenous Peoples—which number more than 476 million in some 90 countries—continue to face threats to their physical and cultural existence. Centered on the themes laid out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), the course explores how Indigenous Peoples have contributed to some of the most important contemporary debates, including human rights, development, and climate change.

“In this immersive course we wanted to explore the complex and historic circumstances and political actions that gave rise to the international Indigenous Peoples’ movement through the human rights agenda and thus also produced a global Indigenous identity on all continents,” said Elsa Stamatopoulou, Director, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Program, Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. 

The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights online course was produced by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights and Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). 
The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights course is available at:
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About the Instructors
Elsa Stamatopoulou is the Director of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. She joined Columbia University in 2011 after a 31-year service at the United Nations (in Vienna, Geneva and New York) with some 22 years dedicated to human rights, in addition to eight years exclusively devoted to Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Indigenous issues were part of her portfolio since 1983 and she became the first Chief of the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2003. She taught the first-ever course at Columbia on Indigenous Peoples’ rights (2011), the first course on cultural rights (2016) and also co-chairs Columbia’s University Seminar on Indigenous Studies.
About the Center for Teaching and Learning at Columbia University
The Center for Teaching and Learning partners with faculty, students, and colleagues across the University to support excellence and innovation in teaching and learning. The CTL is committed to advancing the culture of teaching and learning for professional development, curricular enhancement, and academic support through its programs, services, and resources.
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