The Working Group on Emergent Indigenous Identities


The Working Group on Emergent Indigenous Identities (WGEII) is an interdisciplinary, international cooperative of scholars who initially convened in Flagstaff, Arizona to address the issue of the “emergent” nature of Indigeneity (Indigenous identities) in contemporary times. The group was established by Dr Michelle Harris and included Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers from a number of disciplinary backgrounds including Sociology, Psychology, Politics, Education, and Literature. The group came together to share unpublished scholarly work on topics such as identity formation, forms of cultural expression amongst Indigenous peoples, and how individuals and groups accommodate and challenge existing notions of Indigeneity. The forum proved to be rich in cross-disciplinary thinking about Indigeneity and led to the commitment to produce an edited volume comprised of the revised essays presented at the gathering.

The Working Group is currently developing two new research initiatives. The first is a social survey that focuses on Indigenous diaspora. The survey will include Māori who have immigrated to Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations who are no longer living on ancestral homelands. This research aims to explore, and better understand how Indigenous identities change, expand, or are challenged in new environments. This project is a collaboration with colleagues from universities in Australia and New Zealand. The second is a project that explores Indigenous peoples’ use of social media for seeking help where self harm or suicide may be considered. This would be a collaboration that would involve Native American, Canadian and Australian colleagues in an attempt to engage in a global project.

Members of the Working Group


Charles, H,  M. Harris and B. Carlson. 2015. “Negotiating Global and Interdisciplinary Imperatives for Indigenous Education Scholarship and Pedagogy.Australian Journal of Indigenous Education 44(2): 1-8.

Carlson, Bronwyn, Jeff Berglund, Michelle Harris and Evan Te Ahu Poata-Smith. 2014. “Four Scholars Speak to Navigating the Complexities of Naming in Indigenous Studies.Australian Journal of Indigenous Education 43(1): 1-15.

Harris, Michelle, Martin Nakata and Bronwyn Carlson, (Eds). 2013. The Politics of Identity: Emerging Indigeneity. Sydney University Press and University of Technology Sydney ePress.

In Progress:

Carlson, B and M. Harris (Eds.) (Forthcoming 2016). “Indigenous Peoples, Popular Pleasures and the Everyday.” Special issue in the journal AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples.

Conference Presentations:

  • Hawaiian International Conference on Education – 2015
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies Conference – 2015 and 2014
  • International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Culture, Value and Justice, Vaasa, Finland - 2014

Journal of Global Indigeneity 2015

JGI is hosted by the University of Wollongong Libraries and is a collaborative effort of the Forum on Indigenous Research Excellence – FIRE and The Working Group on Emergent Indigenous Identities


  • University of Wollongong Curriculum Development grant ($15,000AU) – 2014
  • Government of Australia, Office of Learning and Teaching grant ($300,000AU) - 2014 (unfunded)
  • University of Wollongong International Links grant ($15,000AU) – 2013
  • Northern Arizona University International Initiatives grant ($15,000) - 2010