Drawing upon interviews with Mr. Wainggai, as well as anthropological and sociological literature, my study serves to highlight the importance of establishing localized human rights discourses within an indigenous sovereignty movement, thereby increasing understanding of how indigenous communities can best mobilize and achieve self-determination without compromising their collective cultures and identities. My research also explores indigenous leadership, burnout, and intellectual property rights (IPR) within the context of Papuan merdeka. Unlike STEM research, I spend no time in labs or with vast amounts of quantitative data. Instead, my days are spent in the library, analyzing scholarly journals, coding documents, interviewing Mr. Wainggai, or making connections between various global indigenous movements.
As a senior who plans to attend graduate school, this experience has been instrumental in gaining further insight into the world of scholarly research, both its challenges and rewards. Being mentored by Professor Dale has also expanded my understanding of human rights discourse, and guided me into new fields of research methodologies, theories, and movements.