Indigenous priorities for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion


Indigenous priorities for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Deadline for Submission:
June 30th, 2022

Guest editors:

Diane Ruwhiu (University of Otago, Aotearoa New Zealand)

Nimbus Staniland Auckland University of Technology, Aotearoa New Zealand)

Tyron Love (University of Canterbury, Aotearoa New Zealand)

Lynnaire Sheridan (University of Otago, Aotearoa New Zealand)


Despite laws and policies designed to promote Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI), Indigenous Peoples still face individual and structural barriers to participation and success (Julien, et al., 2017; Ruwhiu., et al., 2021). Colonization’s catastrophic consequences for Indigenous Peoples worldwide include loss of land and access to resources, suppressed culture and identity, collapsed social and economic systems, higher burden of poor health and disease, lower life expectancy, and racial violence (Banerjee, 2008; Cornell & Jorgensen, 2019, Lovern, 2017). As Indigenous Peoples journey towards self-determination, sovereignty and justice we must critically assess the what, why and how of Indigenous priorities as intersecting with EDI. This special issue invites Indigenous scholars, practitioners, professionals and/or communities to reflect on experiences and aspirations of scholarship and practice for EDI.

Indigenous peoples are typically rendered invisible within political economies of knowledge “forged in the interplay of power relations between coloniality and free-market capitalism” (Kidman, 2020, p247). Colonizers and governments have worked in an orderly fashion to suppress Indigenous movements and ways of knowing, to replace people and ideas in coordinated and highly organized ways (Banerjee, 2008; Cornell & Jorgensen, 2017). Within that context, organizations have been, and continue to be, forces of domination and suppression for Indigenous Peoples, as well as for many other minority peoples (Pio, 2021; Verbos and Humphries, 2012). The challenge for EDI scholarship is to overcome the narrow and institutionalised cache of Western assumptions imposed onto Indigenous populations and continued through post-colonization assimilation practices (Lovern, 2017; O’Sullivan, 2020, Verbos and Humphries, 2012).

Indigenous forms of organization - and the mobilization of people both within and between nation states – has been important to their collective struggle for recognition of Indigenous rights (Cornell & Jorgensen, 2019; Julien, et al., 2017; Smith, 2012). Indigenous scholarship has emerged as a powerful force of resistance and challenge to the ‘status quo’ of Management and Organization Studies (Love, 2018). An Indigenous perspective has the potential to ‘redesign’ (Lovern, 2017) EDI scholarship and offers opportunities for diversity and inclusion while celebrating Indigenous distinctiveness and ways of being (Julien, et al., 2o17; Ruwhiu, et al., 2021; Verbos & Humphries, 2012). The purpose of this special issue is to bring to the fore diverse Indigenous perspectives that speak to, interrogate and offer alternative understandings to the prevailing institutional logic informing EDI scholarship and practice. We are looking to understand what practices, derived from Indigenous perspectives, enable equality and inclusion. How might Indigenous ways of being and thinking influence EDI? What challenges and opportunities arise from the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives in EDI?

Aims & Scope:

This special issue seeks to conceptualise what Indigenous EDI is (and isn’t), to consider how it is understood and practiced, and to scrutinize EDI in all its embedded and nascent forms, in the context of society, work and organization. We are particularly looking to understand the role of Indigenous paradigms and systems of knowledge, perspectives of identity, relationality, reciprocity and connectedness in the organising of EDI. To do so, we encourage work that ranges from ‘micro-agentic, meso-institutional and macro-national’ approaches to the study of EDI from within Indigenous contexts, whatever that may be or looks like.  We encourage work that raises questions about Indigenous geographies of inclusion (and exclusion) that draws us to considering Indigenous perspectives on and approaches to diversity, inclusion and related concepts across a broad spectrum of geo-political spaces (Lovern, 2017; Olsen, 2018; Paradies et al., 2013; Pio, 2021; Sullivan & Day, 2021).

Despite increasing Indigenous engagement in a range of professions, occupations, and fields, coupled with expectations on employers to engage in diversity initiatives, many Indigenous Peoples still navigate Eurocentric, masculine, hostile organisational cultures and structures in their careers (Andrade et al., 2021; K.I.N. Author Collective, 2020; Julien, et al. 2017). Research suggests culture, traditions, and language play a significant role in career experiences and decisions of Indigenous Peoples. However, expectations of ‘fit’ continue to underpin HRM processes such as recruitment, selection and promotion, effectively undermining the experiences and aspirations of Indigenous employees (Staniland et al., 2020). Employers and managers will need to think beyond recruitment for diversity and consider how to better support the careers of Indigenous Peoples, in a wider range of activities and throughout their tenure within organizations (Julien et al., 2017; Staniland et al., 2020).

Importantly, in the spirit of collective responsibility, we need to address and better understand the diversity that exists across and within our own communities. For example, the imposition of colonial gender binaries has created patriarchal and heteronormative structures, policies and practices that have had devastating consequences for Indigenous communities, particularly for Indigenous women, and those who identify as queer and gender diverse (Sullivan & Day, 2021). Our experiences as Indigenous Peoples intersect with identities related to gender, class, culture, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual capacities, and sexuality. Thus, it is important that we are reflexive in our Indigenous activism and scholarship, acknowledging the role of both structural and agentic factors that contribute to our contemporary experiences (Paradies et al., 2013).

We are interested in any work that offers theoretical, empirical or comparative contribution to an Indigenous perspective of EDI, whether from Management & Organization studies, or broadly from disciplines within business, Indigenous studies, education, feminist perspectives, critical race theory, philosophy, law, health studies and others. We welcome thoughtful and reflexive, as well as disruptive contributions, to the critical debate emerging around Indigenous perspectives of EDI and reflective of Indigenous lived realities.

Questions and topics of interest to this special issue include but are not limited to:

  • What paradigmatic shifts can Indigenous worldviews offer in thinking about diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
  • How do our experiences as Indigenous Peoples intersect with identities related to gender, class, culture, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual capacities, and sexuality?
  • How do issues of colourism, white-passing, biracial or multiracial identities contribute to our experiences, opportunities, and aspirations as Indigenous Peoples?
  • How do Indigenous Peoples view, interact with, navigate racial hierarchies within employment, education or training contexts?
  • What can Indigenous theoretical innovations (e.g. Queer Indigenous Standpoint from Sullivan & Day, 2021) contribute to Indigenous understandings of EDI?
  • How can we avoid employment struggles, concerns, and issues of relevance to Indigenous Peoples being subsumed within the broader ‘diversity’ agenda, and responses to stakeholders’?
  • What role might Indigenous methodologies and methods play in enhancing the capacity of EDI scholarship, promoting Indigenous representation, inclusion and development?
  • How can we reconcile the language that underpins EDI policies such ‘individual freedom’ or ‘free speech’ with the complex and oftentimes fragile reality of the Indigenous experience of colonization?
  • How might we encourage engagement/analysis/reflection on local, national or transnational initiatives, policies or regulations and their implications for Indigenous inclusion?


The deadline for submission is June 30, 2022.

Please send your inquiries about the special issue to Diane Ruwhiu, [email protected].

Submissions are accepted starting on June 1, 2022 and should be made through ScholarOne at:  Author guidelines and format for submitted manuscripts can be found on the journal's website:


Andrade, A. D., Techatassanasoontorn, A. A., Singh, H., & Staniland, N. (2021). Indigenous cultural re-presentation and re-affirmation: The case of Māori IT professionals. Information

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Bobby Banerjee, S. (2008). Necrocapitalism. Organization Studies29(12), 1541-1563.

Cornell, S., & Jorgensen, M. (2019). What are the limits of social inclusion? Indigenous peoples and Indigenous governance in Canada and the United States. American Review of Canadian Studies49(2), 283-300.

Julien, M., Somerville, K., & Brant, J. (2017). Indigenous perspectives on work-life enrichment and conflict in Canada. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal.

Kidman, J. (2020). Whither decolonisation? Indigenous scholars and the problem of inclusion in the neoliberal university. Journal of Sociology56(2), 247-262.

K.I.N. Author Collective. (2020). Manaakitanga and the academy. Hospitality & Society.

Lovern, L. L. (2017). Indigenous perspectives on difference: A case for inclusion. Journal of literary & cultural disability studies11(3), 303-320.

Love, T. R. (2018). Indigenous organization studies: Exploring management, business and community. Springer.

Olsen, T. A. (2018). This Word is (Not?) Very Exciting: Considering Intersectionality in Indigenous Studies. NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 26(3), 182–196. 

Nkomo, S. M. (2021). Reflections on the continuing denial of the centrality of “race” in management and organization studies. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 40(2), 212–224.

Paradies, Y., Franklin, H., & Kowal, E. (2013). Development of the Reflexive Antiracism Scale – Indigenous. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 32(4), 348–373.

Pio, E. (2021). Footfalls and heart-prints for Indigenous inclusion. Organization28(6), 879-902.

Ruwhiu, D., Staniland, N., & Love, T. (2021). The enduring legacy of Indigenous parrhesiastes. Higher Education Research & Development40(1), 5-18.

Smith, L. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies. London, UK, Zed Books.

Sullivan, C., & Day, M. (2021). Queer (y) ing Indigenous Australian higher education student spaces. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education50(1), 2-9.    

Sullivan, C., & Day, M. (2021). Queer(y)ing Indigenous Australian higher education student spaces. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 50(1), 2–9.

Verbos, A. K., & Humphries, M. T. (2012). Decoupling equality, diversity, and inclusion from liberal projects: Hailing indigenous contributions to institutional change. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal.