The biography examines Kijne’s relationship with empire and his significance for Papua. In 1923 Kijne arrived in New Guinea where he was put in charge of a teacher training college. His students became the politicians and administrators who dominated the debate of Papua’s future. After the Second World War he adhered to the policy of assimilation of New Guinea into the United States of Indonesia. After president Soekarno had proclaimed the unitary state in 1950, however, Kijne opted for the development of New Guinea under Dutch rule. In 1958 he returned to the Netherlands. To this day Kijne’s name is associated with Papua. He composed ‘Hai tanahku Papua’ (O my country Papua) the unofficial anthem of Papua and a symbol of independence activists. Moreover, the Theological Academy in Papua’s capital Jayapura is named after ‘I.S. Kijne’.