ATS2757 - Towards decolonisation: The United Nations, rights and Indigenous peoples - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Monash Indigenous Studies Centre

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Rachel Standfield


Dr Mridula Nath Chakraborty
Dr Rachel Standfield

Not offered in 2019


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.


On 13th September 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted the United Nationals declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Described as "a triumph for justice and human dignity" it is the culmination of more than two decades of activism by Indigenous peoples globally. This unit examines why this Declaration was needed, how local activism has become global, how these macro decisions have an impact on the lived realities of Indigenous nations, their sovereign rights and struggles for justice. This landmark Declaration alerts us to the interconnections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, geographies, ecologies and colonisations. Reflections on your personal relationship to issues and their significance to global society will form the basis of your engagement with this unit. Taught through a blended learning style of online content and face-to-face workshops, this unit will offer a range of topics including, but not limited to introductions to the diversity and complexity of Indigenous nations, cultures and languages, understanding colonial histories, rights to country resources and knowledge, cultural and spiritual identity, and implanting the declarations through decolonial ethics.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. identify and explain the ongoing significance of Indigenous struggles for justice in the face of continuing coloniality;
  2. critically analyse concepts relating to Indigenous knowledges and their relevance for the survival of humanity;
  3. discuss notions of coloniality and Indigenous cultures, histories, languages, geographies, ecologies, identities, agency, traditions and practices;
  4. critically reflect on their own connection to critical Indigenous and global issues;
  5. articulate their learning in respectful, culturally appropriate and sensitive ways.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study