Hamilton, New Zealand, hosted a historic NAISA conference, in what has been hailed as a record-breaking meeting for Indigenous scholars from around the world.
The Native American & Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) Conference was held at the University of Waikato in Hamilton from 26-29 June, the first time the conference has been held outside the United States, Canada and Hawai’i. It attracted a record 1,872 registrations from many different countries – the last conference in Los Angeles hosted 1,000 delegates. The event incorporated a community day, followed by 257 sessions from 900 presenters over three days. Themes included Indigenous leadership, sovereignty, justice, health, biosecurity, and the State removal of Indigenous children from their families.
Professor Brendan Hokowhitu, Dean of the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato, who was instrumental in securing the event, commented: “The size and success of the conference has been beyond my wildest dreams. The conference, the excitement and buzz generated around campus and the city has been amazing, with nothing but overwhelmingly positive feedback coming back to us about the registrants’ experiences at the conference, the University, the city, the Waikato and more broadly Aotearoa.”
Tourism New Zealand Business Events supported the conference from bidding stage through to execution through the Conference Assistance Programme.