About the COLLABS

IIRC convenes the coming together of exceptional Indigenous minds across the spectrum of scholar disciplines and is a rare focusing of Indigenous expertise in an international forum. IIRC is extending beyond a biennial event to enable an important programme of ongoing research activity and collaboration through the period between conferences to enable ongoing international connectedness and achievement. For the first time, IIRC is offering COLLABS – an opportunity for like-minded Indigenous researchers to come together in small, focussed teams and to bring expertise to tackling a critical issue. The groups will be guided by senior Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga research leaders (leadership teams) and will progress an overall objective being to advance scholar researcher activities to realise flourishing Indigenous futures. 

COLLAB participants will work together over the course of IIRC2022 in carefully configured groups composed to enhance international connectedness, expertise, experiences, networks, work in progress, and future aspirations. Participants are expected to bring ideas to share, contribute to discussions and lead out on COLLAB activities post IIRC2022. Research activities might include research and network meetings, webinars, gestation of research ideas, designing parallel research initiatives, writing collaborative research funding proposals, think tanks, collaborative writing activities and advocacy.

Participants will engage in a range of activities within the COLLABs, all designed to enhance sharing, learning and strategising. They will include, where appropriate: guest speakers, small and large group exercises, participant sharing, problem-solving, goal clarification and objective setting, planning and task delegation.

The overall goal of each COLLAB is to engage, plan and instigate a programme of collaborative research activities to be advanced over a 24-month period.

Registration Now Open

Join us for a 4-day, Indigenous-led and fully virtual conference


Empowering Indigenous adaptation for a changing climate

Leaders: Dr Shaun Awatere and team

As Indigenous peoples, our care of land, sea, sky and people has spanned millennia and evolved to ensure survival in a healthy biosphere. Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous-led research have a vital part to play as the world meets the challenges of climate change. What do we need to be doing now to ensure the survival of our peoples, communities, environments, lifeways and future generations?  What priorities should we be establishing to ensure that Indigenous people are empowered to determine and lead pathways towards transformative climate change adaptation and mitigation outcomes? How can Indigenous scholars and researchers best contribute to this effort? This COLLAB will engage with these questions, the goal being to identify priorities for achieving meaningful and enduring climate change outcomes for Indigenous communities and realised through scholarly activity. COLLAB discussion will focus on behaviours, institutions, rights, knowledge, resourcing, communication, and other priorities.

Indigenous Youth Mental Health

Leaders: Professor Papaarangi Reid and team

Mental wellbeing is of significant concern worldwide, especially for youth. The indicators of mental stress and distress are particularly concerning for Indigenous youth. Underlying factors, including poverty, bullying, family estrangement, inadequate mental health support and a sense that life is hopeless, have been noted in the literature. For Indigenous peoples, all these factors can be linked to colonisation and the underlying ideology of white supremacy and racism. Intervention strategies that promote and develop cultural strengths have shown these to be important protective factors however they are less effective in protecting against racism. Recent work with rangatahi Māori recommends interventions that are comprehensive, sustained, multidimensional, Indigenous and rangatahi-led, operating with an antiracist praxis and within a context of political will to meaningfully address the fundamental issues. In this COLLAB, we seek to create a community of practice amongst those interested in connecting over this issue.

Indigenous knowledge regeneration and technology

 Leaders: Associate Professor Karyn Paringatai and team

This COLLAB will bring together researchers interested in unlocking the potential of technology that will accelerate knowledge regeneration amongst Indigenous communities. Rather than be restricted by on-trend technological innovations that have had no Indigenous input into their creation or design, we will build a programme of work that looks at how we can maximise the potential of technology on our own terms and in doing so, ensure a flourishing Indigenous future in the digital space.

Social Cohesion, Mis/Dis Information

 Leaders: Professor Joanna Kidman and team

What counts as truth in the digital age is increasingly driven by social media, clickbait, and online networks and platforms with little or no regulation. During the Covid pandemic, large amounts of information were available on the internet, but not all of it came from reliable sources. Simultaneously, disinformed social movements coalesced and gathered in strength and numbers as the pandemic went on and public uncertainty grew. This COLLAB centres on Indigenous narratives and understandings of these social phenomena and the recognition that Indigenous solutions, devised and tailored for Indigenous communities, are an effective means of combatting the growing tide of misinformation and disinformation online and at large in civil society. We ask how we can serve to safeguard the mauri (life force) of Indigenous communities where members are promoting or engaging with conspiracy theories? How can the richness of Indigenous ways of being, thinking and doing be mobilised to help heal the social and emotional damage and anguish caused when conspiracy theories and disinformation take hold?  This COLLAB invites people to share Indigenous solutions and to grow new ones. 

Indigenous Data Sovereignty

Leaders: Professor Tahu Kukutai, Associate Professor Donna Cormack and team

Indigenous peoples have fraught histories with data and statistics produced as part of the colonial project. While there are now new technologies at play, the power to decide whether and how Indigenous peoples are counted, classified, surveilled and ‘acted’ on continues to lie with governments and, increasingly the private sector. Transforming the locus of power over Indigenous data from nation states back to Indigenous peoples lies at the heart of Indigenous Data Sovereignty (IDSov). 

This COLLAB provides an opportunity for researchers, practitioners, activists and advocates interested in IDSov to come together, share, learn, inspire, and catalyse action. Universities are sites in particular need of intervention. Many have collected, acquired and extracted a significant amount of Indigenous data but lack a basic understanding about what Indigenous data they hold and to whom the data belongs, let alone have a plan to uphold their responsibilities and accountabilities. Perhaps a change is timely.


Participating in COLLABS

COLLABS are collaborative groups that work together through the duration of the conference. There are time slots in the programme set aside for COLLAB meetings and COLLAB leaders have designed specific exercises for participants to engage.  For COLLABS to work well, all COLLAB participants must be available for all sessions and come with a spirit of contributing, sharing and leading. Whatever career stage or experience, there will be tasks to do. Scheduled time slots and focus for each session are noted below.

** Timing for these two sessions is indicative. We do wish to greet you well and allow adequate time for COLLABers to get to know each other before getting in to the more serious discussions.



Time (NZDT) Agenda
Monday 14th November 

10:00-11:00 and 1:00-3:00pm**

Welcome and Orientation, Meet COLLAB members
Tuesday 15th November 4.00pm – 5.30pm COLLAB Vision and Goals
Wednesday 16th November 10.00am – 11.30am Priorities and leadership
Thursday 17th November 4.00pm – 5.30pm Plans and tasks
Friday 18th November 4.00pm – 4.30pm COLLABS feedback to conference



Expressing interest in a COLLAB

Conference registrants may make an expression of interest (EOI) in not more than 2 COLLABS via the IIRC portal. For each COLLAB indicated, they will be asked:

    • What can you bring/contribute to the COLLAB? (MAX 200 words)
    • What do you hope to achieve through your COLLAB participation? (MAX 200 words)
    • Are there any specific COLLAB activities you wish to lead on beyond the IIRC? (MAX 200 words)

Information about stage in career, discipline, University and affiliations, research interests will also be collected. The EOIs will be distributed to the relevant COLLAB leadership team to decision-make and take into consideration the mix of the group.  Once confirmed, registrants will be informed of the outcome.

A link to express your interest in participating in the IIRC COLLABS will be sent to registered delegates after Tuesday 4 October.

Expressions of interest are open to paid registered delegates only. The keynote session only registration type are NOT eligible.

All expressions of interest must be in no later than Monday 25 October.

The EOIs will be distributed to the relevant COLLAB leadership group to decision-make and take into consideration international connectedness, expertise, stage in career, alignment of contributions, research interests and future aspirations. Once confirmed, registrants will be informed of the outcome.