Remote Indigenous Research Forum

Indigenous researchers involved in the WCE initiative, were invited to participate in the recent Remote Indigenous Researcher Forum. The forum was held from 11 to 14 August and involved sessions at both the Charles Darwin University Casuarina campus and at the main Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education campus located 100km south of Darwin at the township of Batchelor.

Remote Indigenous Research Forum

About the forum

Participants

A total of 27 Indigenous researchers attended representing a diverse range of remote regions and communities including:

  • Tennant Creek and Yuendumu in the Central Region
  • Torres Strait Islands – these researchers are studying at BIITE
  • Maningrida and Gunbalanya in West Arnhem and
  • Yirrkala in East Arnhem

Themes

Delegates from these communities were joined by WCE support staff and focused on four main topics: Governance, Passing the Message, Our Story and Building Research Communities.

Each theme covered a broad range of Indigenous research questions that were important to the participants.

Key questions that emerged from each theme were discussed resulting in a final presentation of Indigenous Research principles and guidelines for remote communities that was presented to the broader CDU community.

The final presentation led by the remote Indigenous researchers was presented both in English and local aboriginal languages. 

We felt much enthusiasm within our group from getting together. It was our first time all together and we felt great energy and drive. We felt we were the drivers of this new process and partnership. There was a lot of positive energy and passion that bought a fire to our belly. This is a great way forward to benefit remote communities. Valda Shannon, Tennant Creek

Governance

Governance

The theme of governance looks at how Indigenous communities provide leadership in governing research in communities and with researchers. There are already some protocols and practices in place; for example Land Council Research permits and both the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and national guidelines for research in and with Indigenous people. CDU has an ethics committee that is focused on including Indigenous people in the decision making process. The question is the same, no matter these current circumstances and practices, how much Indigenous voice is included in the kinds of research developed with and in our communities. This is about community leadership process and practices in research and research evaluation. 

  1. Community governance groups
  2. Community researchers sharing the message
  3. Defining a clear message about research
  4. How is research in the community understood by the community?

Passing the message

Passing the message

The theme of Passing the Message is about the outcomes of research. It is about what messages does the research tell us, how is it shared in the community, who shares the message and in what ways are messages passed on to others. This theme is also about the work of Indigenous researchers and their role in research in communities and the wider groups that are interested in the research. How the message is passed on to others and who shares these messages are key ideas; who decides what the key ideas are in the research? How does Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing influence research and the research findings?

  1. How is research interpreted and who is involved in deciding what the message/findings are?
  2. Thinking about ways of sharing research IN communities and with community members
  3. Indigenous ways of looking at information and data

Our story

Our story

The theme Our Story focuses on defining directions for Indigenous Research (capitalised on purpose). This theme talks about enterprise and business in research. Other organisations and universities gain funding and monies from a variety of government and non-government agencies to develop research. This theme is to think about Indigenous peoples funding their own research and research evaluation and includes the employment and education pathways that research can offer that is specifically about Indigenous ways of thinking, knowing and doing. This is about understanding our own research, our own research methods and defining these, owning these and the opportunities this has to support, lead and enhance enterprise and educational pathways. It is about walking and talking together to develop understanding across two knowledge systems.

  1. Indigenous enterprise
  2. Research as employment
  3. How do we research, what are good ways to research and how do we own our thinking and work?

Building research communities

Building research communities

This theme specifically recognises the needto share research not just between non- indigenous and indigenous peoples but between other Indigenous peoples – locally, nationally and globally. There are already a number of research organisations in Australia – National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN), AIATSIS and local /regional groups. Building on this we are asking - Why and how we might share research? What can we learn from each other and from others? How can we learn from each other? Linked to the other themes, this theme recognises the need for active Indigenous researchers and researcher groups; and for supporting each other in building these knowledges, knowing, being and doing communities. This theme recognises the work already developed with non-Indigenous researchers and focuses on supporting these networks. 

  1. Research networks, learning from each other
  2. Sharing OUR research - building connections across regions
  3. Working with Indigenous and non-indigenous researchers and organisations
30 January 2017

Whole of Community Engagement Initiative

Whole of Community Engagement Initiative

The Whole of Community Engagement (WCE) initiative has been operating through the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership at Charles Darwin University for the past two and half years.

23 January 2017

Evaluating WCE

We have been working hard with our partners and stakeholders to get feedback and to document and share our key findings and achievements.

Charles Darwin UniversityAustralian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges & EducationBatchelor InstituteNAILSMANTG

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