Indigenous Engagement in Tropical River Research in Australia: The TRaCK Program
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The literature on scientific-Indigenous ecological knowledge collaborations rarely analyses programmatic efforts undertaken by multi-disciplinary research groups over very large geographic scales. The TRaCK (Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge) research program was established to provide the science and knowledge needed by governments, industries, and communities to sustainably manage northern Australia's rivers and estuaries. A number of policies and procedures were developed to ensure that the needs of Indigenous people of the multi-jurisdictional region were addressed and to enhance the benefits they might derive from participating in the research. An overarching Indigenous Engagement Strategy undergirded the program's engagement activities, providing guidance on matters relating to the protection of intellectual property, negotiation of research agreements, remuneration for Indigenous expertise, and communications standards. This article reviews the achievements and shortcomings of the TRaCK experience of Indigenous engagement and highlights lessons for researchers and research organisations contemplating applied environmental science initiatives of this scale and scope.
International Indigenous Policy Journal
© The Author(s) 2015. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Environmental Knowledge