Accounting for Indigenous cultural connections to land: insights from two Indigenous groups of Australia

Finau, Glenn, Jarvis, Diane, Stoeckl, Natalie, Larson, Silva, Grainger, Daniel, Douglas, Michael, Ewamian Aboriginal Corporation, , Barrowei, Ryan, Coleman, Bessie, Groves, David, Hunter, Joshua, Lee, Maria, and Markham, Michael (2023) Accounting for Indigenous cultural connections to land: insights from two Indigenous groups of Australia. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 36 (9). pp. 370-389.

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Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to present the findings of a government-initiated project that sought to explore the possibility of incorporating cultural connections to land within the federal national accounting system using the United Nations Systems of Environmental-Economic Accounting (UN-SEEA) framework as a basis.

Design/methodology/approach – Adopting a critical dialogic approach and responding to the calls for critical accountants to engage with stakeholders, the authors worked with two Indigenous groups of Australia to develop a system of accounts that incorporates their cultural connections to “Country”. The two groups were clans from the Mungguy Country in the Kakadu region of Northern Territory and the Ewamian Aboriginal Corporation of Northern Queensland. Conducting two-day workshops on separate occasions with both groups, the authors attempted to meld the Indigenous worldviews with the worldviews embodied within national accounting systems and the UN-SEEA framework.

Findings – The models developed highlight significant differences between the ontological foundations of Indigenous and Western-worldviews and the authors reflect on the tensions created between these competing worldviews. The authors also offer pragmatic solutions that could be implemented by the Indigenous Traditional Owners and the government in terms of developing such an accounting system that incorporates connections to Country.

Originality/value – The paper contributes to providing a contemporary case study of engagement with Indigenous peoples in the co-development of a system of accounting for and by Indigenous peoples; it also contributes to the ongoing debate on bridging the divide between critique and praxis; and finally, the paper delves into an area that is largely unexplored within accounting research which is national accounting.

Item ID: 80227
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0951-3574
Keywords: Indigenous Australia, Cultural connections to country, National accounting, UN-SEEA, Critical dialogic
Copyright Information: © Glenn Finau, Diane Jarvis, Natalie Stoeckl, Silva Larson, Daniel Grainger, Michael Douglas, Ewamian Aboriginal Corporation, Ryan Barrowei, Bessie Coleman, David Groves, Joshua Hunter, Maria Lee and Michael Markham. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode
Funders: National Environmental Science Program (NESP)
Projects and Grants: NESP Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub 6.3.3
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2023 00:22
FoR Codes: 38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380105 Environment and resource economics @ 50%
38 ECONOMICS > 3899 Other economics > 389902 Ecological economics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 15 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 1599 Other economic framework > 159902 Ecological economics @ 50%
21 INDIGENOUS > 2104 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture > 210402 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander connection to land and environment @ 50%
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