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IWGIA welcomes two Indigenous members to its board

IWGIA is pleased to announce that Nauja Bianco (pictured left) and Peter Dawson (pictured right) have joined IWGIA as new board members as of 1 January 2024. 

“We are happy to have Nauja and Peter join IWGIA’s Board. Combined, they bring extensive diplomatic, legal and rights-based experience to IWGIA, as well as adding their very important Indigenous voice. We are excited to start 2024 with them on board,” Ida Theilade, IWGIA’s Chair of the Board, said.

Nauja Bianco is a native Greenlander, born and raised in the capital Nuuk, now living in Copenhagen as an independent consultant conducting strategic advisory work within Arctic and Nordic affairs through her own company, Isuma Consulting.

Peter Dawson is an Aboriginal lawyer from Australia raised on Noongar country in Western Australia with family ties to Wiradjuri country in Central New South Wales. He currently lives in Oslo working as a Senior Advisor at the Norwegian National Human Rights Institution.

Long-term experience with Indigenous rights

Ms Bianco joins IWGIA with over 15 years of government and diplomacy experience, including with the Government of Greenland (in Nuuk and Brussels), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and the Nordic Council of Ministers, and has cooperated with Indigenous Peoples’ organisations and their agendas on the international scene.

In 2020, she became the CEO of the North Atlantic House, portraying arts and culture from Greenland, Faroe Islands, and Iceland, as well as CEO of the Greenlandic House in Odense, Denmark, which works with Greenlanders living in Denmark. In this context, Ms Bianco, among other things, worked with the rights and status of Kalaallit (Greenlanders) in Denmark.

Mr Dawson brings over ten years’ experience to IWGIA working with Indigenous rights in Australia and Norway, including on issues related to constitutional change, land rights, extractive industries, climate change, intellectual property rights, statistics and data governance, hate speech and discrimination.

Important contribution of outgoing board members

IWGIA would also like to acknowledge the important contributions of our two outgoing board members: Maria Bierbaum Oehlenschläger, who served on our board since 2021, and Sara Olsvig, who served on our board since 2019. 

“Maria’s and Sara’s work with IWGIA, advising on our institutional, gender and engagement strategies, for example, and representing the organisation has been integral to our success over these recent years in continuing to being a progressive and important voice in the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. It has been a privilege working with them over these last years and I would like to thank them for their leadership, also during the challenging COVID period,” Theilade said.


>> You can find out more about IWGIA's Board here


Photo of Nauja Bianco credit: David Nuka Wogelius





IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting and defending Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Read more.

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