First Nations' Futures Programme

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The First Nations’ Futures Programme (FNFP) is an international alliance between Ngāi Tahu, the Kamehameha Schools in Hawai'i and Stanford University.

Further participating institutions are Sea Alaska, the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury and the University of Otago.

The programme has a strong theoretical basis with an emphasis on indigenous economies, science and environmental management. The course is designed to take our best scholars who have a record of community participation and expose them to new development theories they may choose to implement within their communities and whānau.

This programme is designed for aspiring leaders with established long-term community relationships and a solid cultural background.

The First Nations' Futures Programme is also intended for those scholars who are close to completion of an undergraduate degree, who intend further academic study and who intend a career which will build capacity within their communities and whānau, in areas of value to their community. Up to six places may be allocated, dependent on the applicants in any given year.

The First Nations’ Futures Programme provides an unrivalled opportunity for aspiring Ngāi Tahu leaders and other Māori postgraduate students to gain access to leading international research and thinking within a uniquely indigenous context.

Applications are also invited from Ngāi Tahu and other Māori undergraduate students who are close to completion of their degree and who intend to apply for postgraduate study in 2023-2024. The First Nations' Futures Programme is held at Stanford University for two weeks in October/November every year.

We are excited to announce the return of the First Nations' Futures Programme since COVID began. In February 2023 the First Nations' Futures Programme will be hosted in Christchurch, with cohorts from Kamehameha Schools, Hawai'i and Sea Alaska Institute joining Ngāi Tahu participants in New Zealand. 

COVID-19 Update

Due to the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, applications for the programme annually held at Stanford will not be taken for 2022

(Applications for the October/November programme in Stanford are usually taken from beginning April - end May)

Applications are open from 30 June 2022 - 25 August 2022. 

For all enquiries contact 

Please click the link below to download the application form for the February 2023, New Zealand programme.

First Nations' Futures Programme (2023) Application Form

FNFP_February 2023 Guidelines

Please submit your application with relevant supporting documents, by email to by 25 August 2022.