Synthesis of Australian cross-cultural ecology featuring a decade of annual Indigenous ecological knowledge symposia at the Ecological Society of Australia conferences

Ens, Emilie J., and Turpin, Gerry (2022) Synthesis of Australian cross-cultural ecology featuring a decade of annual Indigenous ecological knowledge symposia at the Ecological Society of Australia conferences. Ecological Management & Restoration, 23 (S1). pp. 3-16.

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Abstract

Indigenous Australians are Australia’s first ecologists and stewards of land, sea and freshwater Country. Indigenous biocultural knowledge, as coded in story, song, art, dance and other cultural practices, has accumulated and been refined through thousands of generations of Indigenous tribal groups who have distinct cultural responsibilities for their ancestral estates. European colonisation of Australia had and is still having severe impacts on Indigenous cultural practice, knowledge, people and Country. In contemporary ecology and environmental management, re-recognition of the unique values of Indigenous biocultural knowledge and practice is occurring and increasingly being deployed alongside Western approaches in what has been described as cross-cultural, two-way or right-way work. This article describes the development of cross-cultural ecology and environmental approaches in Australia. We then provide an overview of 10 years of conference presentations associated with the annual Indigenous Ecological Knowledge symposiums of the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA). From 2010 to 2020, 173 people participated in the symposia from around Australia and Aotearoa (New Zealand), of which 62% were Indigenous Australians and 3% Maori. Most participants were from Indigenous Ranger groups followed by University staff, with a roughly even split of men and women. A total of 100 presentations were given and a word frequency analysis of the presentation titles revealed the dominant words (themes) were: Indigenous, management, Country, fire, working, knowledge and cultural. The increasing Indigenous participation in the ESA conferences was coincident with increasing Indigenous-led projects across Australia, although we recognise that much more work needs to be done to increase Indigenous participation and control in Australian ecology and environmental management to move from cross-cultural to Indigenous-led approaches.

Item ID: 77512
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1442-8903
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. Ecological Management & Restoration published by Ecological Society of Australia and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2023 23:37
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4503 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental knowledges and management > 450304 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental knowledges @ 80%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410403 Environmental education and extension @ 20%
SEO Codes: 21 INDIGENOUS > 2104 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture > 210404 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge @ 60%
21 INDIGENOUS > 2104 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture > 210402 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander connection to land and environment @ 40%
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