Who We Are
The Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) is an independent, non-profit [U.S. 501(c)(3)] research and education organization dedicated to wider understanding and appreciation of the ideas and knowledge of indigenous peoples and the social, economic and political realities of indigenous nations.
The Center fosters better understanding between peoples through the publication and distribution of literature written and voiced by leading contributors from Fourth World Nations. An important goal of CWIS is to establish cooperation between nations and to democratize international relations between nations and between nations and states.
Dr. Rudolph C. Rÿser, Ph.D. (a member of the Cowlitz Tribe ) and Chief George Manuel (1929-1989) of the Shuswap Nation founded CWIS as an independent organization in the Spring of 1984 in response to calls by the Conference of Tribal Governments in the United States and the World Council of Indigenous Peoples for a documents center.
Concerned with the advancement of ideas for solving social, economic and political problems in the Fourth World, the Center for World Indigenous Studies links voluntary contributors world-wide and conducts original research, education, conflict resolution symposia and conferences benefiting constructive relations between nations, and nations and states.
CWIS operated as an unincorporated research and documentation clearing house authorized by resolution adopted by the Conference of Tribal Governments in 1979. The purpose of the organization was to archive and disseminate tribal documents supplied by Indian governments in the Pacific Northwest of the United States of America until incorporation in 1984. It was at this time that the Center assumed its present form and emphasis on research, education and policy analysis for Fourth World nations.