Leiden University

Leiden University (ULEI) Centre for Indigenous America Studies is an inter-faculty collaboration between the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics and Archaeological Heritage of Indigenous Peoples, and is a research and teaching hub for innovation within research on and with the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.

Leiden has a long-standing tradition of documenting minority indigenous languages and has built up a tradition of linking this to identity processes and rights of Indigenous Peoples. The researchers involved are working to break through with innovative indigenous methodologies and participatory research. We have both theoretical and practical interests, namely ontology and cultural memory, and from these we are envisioning culturally appropriate pathways to the revitalization of indigenous languages with the aim of self-empowerment and to contribute to cultural wellbeing. The team members include both western and indigenous scholars, most of the latter being native speakers of indigenous languages themselves, namely Ayuuk, Mixtec, Maya, Wapishana and others. Leiden’s strength lies in their ability to carry out detailed in-depth cultural and linguistic studies, which form the basis for the construction of practical methods that are multi-modal and variously applicable and our participation will reflect this. ULEI will complement researchers in the consortium and will collaborate on the construction of methods that best utilize the empirical bases of our research.