Institute of indigenous studies
“Indigenous peoples” around the world have accumulated knowledge from trails of hundreds of years enabling not only the producing community but all human beings to benefit from their experiences. However, the communities and their knowledge have been facing marginalization due to various political, economic and socio-cultural factors pushing some to the extent of extinction, and some others being significantly threatened. The loss of the indigenous knowledge owned by local community in one corner of our globe undoubtedly costs all humanity. The Ethiopian case is not different. It was with this in mind that the Institute of Indigenous Studies in Dilla University was launched in 2007 as a research and teaching institute. The Institute has been established with the mission to produce critical and socially conscious learners, develop and disseminate knowledge through scholarly research, and provide high quality consultancy pertinent to indigenous knowledge to policy makers and it aspires to become among the top 5 centers of excellence in indigenous education, research and community service in East Africa.
Currently, the institute is engaged in research activities which focus on indigenous conflict transformation, indigenous knowledge systems, language description, language documentation, language shift and maintenance, indigenous peoples’ rights, and state-society relations in the southern Ethiopia. The focus in the South is for two basic reasons: the location of the university amidst cultural and linguistic diversity and the existence of local community that received little or no academic attention in the previous regimes are found in this part of the country. In the academic wing, currently, the institute has been running a Master’s degree in Indigenous Studies (MIS) Programme since September 2016. It is a multidisplinary programme that incorporates perspectives from different disciplines.
In the future, the institute strives to be a leading figure in the area of international collaboration in addition to its research, teaching and community service activities. Inspired by its past successful collaboration with the Center for Sami Studies at the University of Tromso (Norway), the institute put international collaboration as its next flagship project.Contact address Institute of Indigenous Studies, Dilla University Oda Ya’a Campus P.O.Box 419 Dilla, Ethiopia Tel: +251-046-3313903