Biography: Mariaelena Huambachano

Biography: Mariaelena Huambachano

Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, CSREA, and Department of American Studies and Ethnic Studies 2016-2016

I am passionate about the revitalization of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), Indigenous food systems, environmental sustainability, and social justice. An innovative and creative Indigenous research framework, which I referred to as the ‘Khipu Model’ guides my empirical research endeavours.

Broadly my research agenda focuses on the politics of food security, indigenous food sovereignty, and the social-political aspects of and land-based movements, especially as they pertain to the ‘right to food’ security of Indigenous peoples.

Currently, I am leading the 'Right to Food Security/Sovereignty Project' in collaboration with Maori, Quechua, and Cofan communities. This project investigates Food security/Sovereignty and cultural and environmental indicators of well-being for safeguarding food security. The aim is to develop an alternative ‘Food security policy framework’ as seen through an Indigenous. For me, as a native Peruvian scholar and a citizen of New Zealand, this work stems from both personal and professional interests.

My book manuscript, entitled ‘Global Indigeneity, activism and resistance in food politics’, provides a critical analysis of the politics of food as social identity, and highlights indigenous food sovereignty (IFS) as a nascent political strategy to assert indigenous peoples’ self- determination status as land-based peoples, and to ultimately decolonise their food systems. I received my Ph.D. in Management and International Business from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.


Research Interests: 
Huambachano is passionate about Sustainable Development, Food security/sovereignty, Indigenous governance, law and policy, Good living philosophies, Environmental Sustainability, Research theory and methodologies, and Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

Journal Articles

1.  Huambachano, M. (2015). Indigenous knowledge and Food security, The International Journal of Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 5 (3), 33-47.
2.  Huambachano, M (2012) Carbon Emissions Scheme: Analysis of the Impact of the NZ ETS, The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability, Volume 8, (1), 51-59.  
3.   Huambachano, M (2011). Sustainable Development in South America: A case Study of the agricultural sector of Peru. The International Journal of Environmental,  Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7(4), 33-42.

Book Chapters
1. Mariaelena Huambachano (2015), The Ayni Principle: An Indigenous theory of value creation, in Chellie Spiller and Rachel Wolfgramm (ed.) ‘Indigenous spirituality at work: Transforming the spirit of business enterprise’, Volume (5)Information Age Publishing Inc, p. 99-116.
2. Mariaelena Huambachano (2014), Business and Sustainability: The Camisea Project in the Peruvian Amazon Basin, in Gabriel Eweje (ed.) Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Emerging Trends in Developing Economies (Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability, Volume (8) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, p.215 – 240.

Competitive Research Grants
2016          Social Science New Zealand Research Network. (NZ$19,000)
                    ‘Indigenous perspectives of food security: First Nations-Māori people’.
2016          PhD Travel Grant Food & Health programme. (NZ$2,000)
2015          Food and Health Programme Seed Funding. (NZ$10,000)
                    He kai kei aku ringa’—‘the food is in my hand’: local and global perspectives
                    on Indigenous food security in the context of climate change’.
2015          Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Maori Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE).
                    Food Security and Indigeneous knowledge: A case Study of Aotearoa and
                    Andeans of Peru.
2012          ‘Pathways for scaling up food sovereignty in Alto-Mayo, Amazon region –