Knowing rights, knowing country using Indigenous research methodologies

Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Leah Talbot
Dr Rosemary Hill
Prof Hurriyet Babacan

Increasing numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers are using and promoting Indigenous research methodologies to strengthen and promote Indigenous peoples’ roles, rights and interests. 

This presentation focuses on a novel application of these methods in doctoral research aimed at understanding the influences of Indigenous governance on the application of Indigenous ecological knowledge in land management. We highlight three important outcomes of using Indigenous research methodology. First, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and researchers are able to apply our own ways of doing, knowing and believing about land, overcoming the past ignorance from western research thinking. Second, Indigenous research methodologies empower Indigenous people to build our own deeper understanding about why, how and when to successfully engage. Such understanding builds opportunities for appropriate collaboration to emerge from engagement with external agencies. Third, Indigenous research methodologies reflect our priorities and therefore ensure a central role for research in supporting sustainable pathways for our businesses on and for our country. We argue that wider application of Indigenous methods in environmental research, applying a critical Indigenous lens perspective, will highlight the deep impact of colonisation and empower the larger decolonisation process, restoring both justice and the land.