Project Summary

A public seminar and workshop in Decolonising Archives in the Arctic will be held at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) in Copenhagen, co-funded by Nordforsk. The events bring together members of the newly-established Arctic Archives subgroup of the Thematic Network in Arctic Law. The group is a growing, interdisciplinary network of experts in international law, archival science, history and decolonisation theory. A core priority for the group is identifying and centring Indigenous research ethics, priorities and goals. Indigenous and other archivists and historians have worked extensively on access to and return of archives but there had been little international legal research on displaced archives since the early 1980s prior to 2023. However, major advances in the law and implementation of self-determination, truth and/or reconciliation work, and major advances in Indigenous rights in international law all point to the urgency of the topic.

The participants and invited guests present their latest findings at the public seminar and hold a workshop to discuss and hone research questions and methods going forward. They will deliver a special issue on International Law and Displaced Archives in Arctic Countries in The International Journal of Heritage Studies. Key issues for discussion include: Indigenous priorities and research methods; funding opportunities; academic publications; and wider dissemination strategies. Project participants will also disseminate their research to the general public through relevant nonacademic institutions, interdisciplinary research organisations and independent think tanks.


Date and Location: 

May 2-3, 2024 I Copenhagen, Denmark

IASC Working Groups funding the Project:


Project Lead

Rachael Lorna Johnstone (University of Akureyri, Iceland


Year funded by IASC



Project Status




Designed & hosted by Arctic Portal