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Indigenous Engagement: Towards a Culturally Sensitive Approach for Inclusive Economic Development

Authors: K. N. Penna, E. J. Hoffman, T. R. Carter


This paper suggests that cultural landscape management plans in an Indigenous context are more effective if designed by taking into consideration context-related social and cultural aspects, adopting people-centred and cultural-based approaches for instance. In relation to working in Indigenous and mining contexts, we draw upon and contribute to international policies on human rights that promote the development of management plans that are co-designed through genuine engagement processes. We suggest that the production of management plans that are built upon culturally relevant frameworks leads to more inclusive economic development, a greater sense of trust, and shared managerial responsibilities. In this paper, three issues related to Indigenous engagement and cultural landscape management plans will be addressed: (1) the need for effective communication channels between proponents and Traditional Owners (Australian original Aboriginal peoples who inhabited specific regions), (2) the use of a culturally sensitive approach to engage local representatives in the decision-making processes, and (3) how design of new management plans can help in establishing shared management.

Keywords: Culture-Centred Approach, Holons’ Hierarchy, Inclusive Economic Development, Indigenous Engagement.

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