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Indigenous Knowledge

Artist recording water knowledge, ICWFN Water and Art Stories Camp, Keep River, 2010

Artist recording water knowledge, ICWFN Water and Art Stories Camp, Keep River, 2010

The Indigenous Knowledge program aims to promote the understanding and value of Indigenous knowledge in current land and sea management practices.

Indigenous knowledge is fundamental to the future of northern Australia. For 60,000 years Indigenous people have developed this knowledge that still goes largely un-noticed or ignored. NAILSMA believes that IK is fundamental to the future of northern Australia and the nation, and when combined with contemporary science has repeatedly demonstrated best practice approaches to problem solving. 

We firmly understand that supporting local communities, groups and individual holders of IK will contribute towards securing long term social, environmental and economic resilience.

Under the Indigenous Knowledge program a Strategy for the Conservation and Application of Indigenous Knowledge across north Australia is being finalised. The strategy will guide the program which aims to:

  • document the needs of Traditional Owners to support the conservation of Indigenous knowledge across north Australia;
  • identify the reasons why Indigenous knowledge is not included in some natural resource management activities;
  • research previous Australian and international work incorporating Indigenous knowledge and understand the successes and learning’s from that work;
  • develop an overview of other relevant issues, such as intellectual property rights;
  • identify information technology requirements, communication needs and resourcing needs for on country activities and collaborations between Indigenous land managers and researchers;
  • provide practical tools for use by Traditional Owners to enable them to develop equal working relationships with research and other agencies;
  • communicate the results to ensure full exposure and investment towards knowledge conservation; and
  • develop an appropriate means of securing Indigenous Knowledge and all it entails in northern Australia.

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