An Indigenous-Led Approach for Regional Knowledge Partnerships in the Kimberley Region of Australia

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Scientists, Indigenous peoples, and local communities are increasingly seeking to combine their expertise to support sustainable management of social-ecological systems for diverse values, from local to global scales. In this paper we present an Indigenous-led approach to enable multiple evidence-based research, monitoring, and evaluation of the health of ‘Saltwater Country.’ This highlights the need to ensure knowledge can be shared, used, and co-developed to care for coastal and marine social-ecological systems within and across the Kimberley region of north-western Australia in an ethical and equitable manner. Structured yet fluid knowledge networks need to be negotiated and supported to enable Indigenous communities to implement this approach, which also requires coordinated institutional support and resourcing to produce useable knowledge that is easily translated into programs of action. We here present a process for regional-scale collaboration between Indigenous and local knowledge systems, western science, and other knowledge systems for the purpose of collaborative natural and cultural resource management and sustainable Indigenous futures.




Austin, B. J., Robinson, C. J., Mathews, D., Oades, D., Wiggin, A., Dobbs, R. J., … Garnett, S. T. (2019). An Indigenous-Led Approach for Regional Knowledge Partnerships in the Kimberley Region of Australia. Human Ecology, 47(4), 577–588.

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