Setting the table: indigenous engagement on environmental issues in a politicized context

Watkin Lui, Felecia, Kiatkoski-Kim, Milena, Delisle, Aurélie, Stoeckl, Natalie, and Marsh, Helene (2016) Setting the table: indigenous engagement on environmental issues in a politicized context. Society and Natural Resources, 29 (11). pp. 1263-1279.

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Environmental issues are often highly politicized. Indigenous peoples may be reluctant to participate in research due to a history of colonization and negative experiences with researchers—described as a "chronic conflict". We present a case where an acute conflict (an event that creates intense mistrust among stakeholders) occurred during a research project. The project studied a contentious issue: the sharing of dugong and turtle meat by Indigenous Australians. The chronic conflict of colonial history and Western research was exacerbated by media coverage of related issues when the project was starting, making participants unwilling to participate in our research. We adapted established Indigenous engagement protocols and — both literally and figuratively — set the table in response to the sociopolitical context of the research. This engagement process enabled us to establish trusting relationships with participants, and could benefit most researchers seeking to engage people, irrespective of Indigeneity or context.

Item ID: 43657
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1521-0723
Keywords: community engagement, indigenous research, traditional hunting
Funders: Australian Marine Mammal Centre (AMMC), National Environmental Research Program (Tropical Ecosystems Hub), James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 16 May 2016 22:27
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 50%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4503 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental knowledges and management > 450307 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander marine environment science @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960702 Consumption Patterns, Population Issues and the Environment @ 50%
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