Indigenous Spatial Identity

We seek to continuously demonstrate the importance and use of Indigenous Spatial Identities (ISI) in spatial planning and development across Australia. Traditional Owner ISI mapping provides platforms for formulating consistent and focused place-based outcomes with Indigenous peoples. Although Australia is well versed in spatial planning, it is still in transition regarding territorial cohesion of Indigenous nations and a more balanced agenda for social, economic, environmental and cultural development.

Enhancing cultural hertiage as a factor in development through regional planning is only achievable by spatially valuing traditional country, cultural landscapes, cultural resources and values.  

Geo-cultural spaces provide more than western documented evidence, and we emphasise an importance of collating structured and unstructured data to:

  • unlock and harness indigenous explicit and tacit knowledge
  • develop robust collaborative partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners
  • provide greater understanding about territorial and social cohesion 
  • define primary and communal structures, functions and processes
  • create spaces for increasing collaboration, and design of culturally appropriate decison-making                                                                                                                                                                    

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Ecologically sustainable development can be achieved faster through indigenous participation in any scoping exercise undertaken by Government, Extractive Industries, or Corporate Australia sectors. Involving Indigenous institutions such as, "right people to speak for country", supports acceleration of cultural and social objectives. 

Primary reasons for consultation or negotiation failures align with:

  • limited understanding of the critical function of cultural landscapes within development footprints
  • inappropriate methods in engaging proper cultural structures within Aboriginal parties.

Communal consultation is considered appropriate in social development agenda. Primary knowledge consultation and a cultural development agenda need to consider the  cultural responsibilities of the people involved.

Understanding compliance and beyond compliance in terms of biocultural diversity, cultural integrity and cultural health are more likely to design significant "in good faith" partnerships that sustain whole-of-life relationships.

Indigenous Spatial Identities - scope and examine cultural development agendas through biodiversity and biocultural diversity interfaces, and form stronger platforms for engagement, consultation and negotation, and time critical outcomes. 

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