Waka Aoyama is currently an associate professor in the Research Faculty of Media and Communication at Hokkaido University of Japan. Born in Sapporo and raised in Fujisawa, Japan, she received her B.A. and M.A. in Commerce from Keio University of Japan. She then obtained her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Tokyo of Japan in 2002. Her Ph.D. dissertation was on the adaptive process of indigenous peoples in the urban market economy. Her first book, “An Ethnography of Poverty: Socio-economic Life of Five Sama Families in Davao City, Philippines” was published in 2006 by the University of Tokyo Press and earned academic awards. During her stay at HYI, she will enhance her theoretical and analytical framework to write books as well as compile a database on the Sama-Bajau people in Southeast Asia.