The twelfth Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS XII) will be held at the Universitii Sains Malaysia, Penang from 23 to 27 July 2018.

I will (with co-presenters yet to be arranged) be presenting the session ‘Indigenous land and sea management in Australia and beyond‘ that seeks to explore recent developments and build on previous sessions at CHAGS meetings and elsewhere in local-scale indigenous land management and research.

You can see more about CHAGS XII and previous CHAGS meetings at the Conference website. If you are interested in attending the conference or presenting at this session please send an email in the first instance to me at [email protected]


Details of the session follow.

Convenor: Robert Gosford, Central Land Council, Alice Springs, Australia

Discussants: to be announced

Abstract: Indigenous land and water management is an increasingly important part of local and culturally-moderated land management. We solicit presentations by indigenous land managers and custodians and encourage discussion about all elements of their work, including cultural maintenance, inter-cultural issues and benefits to their communities.

Keywords: indigenous land management, bi- and inter-cultural issues, cultural maintenance, species conservation, fire management

Format: interactive event (dialogues, presentations): 10-15 minutes presentations with flexibility as required

Session description

In this session we propose a series of dialogues or conversations between and among Indigenous land managers, custodians and knowledge-holders and the session audience. Through the development of individual and group anecdotes and examples guided by focussed discussion this session will have the primary purpose of exploring and documenting some of the challenges of integrating non-traditional (aka “western”) science and indigenous and local practices from a variety of lived experiences, locations and circumstances with examples provided by a number of cultural groupings.

The proposal is for a semi-structured format that will encourage interaction between participants—expected to be individual and small group representatives of indigenous land managers and custodians—who each may reflect and expand upon their land management and cultural maintenance activities, motivations, experiences and interactions with dominant societies and to draw out particular issues of concern and note about their work on and off their country and communities.

Themes for the semi-structured discussion could include the importance of and development of cultural maintenance activities; issues related to sites and objects of sacred significance and knowledge; the protection, application and moderation of intercultural scientific knowledge; practical issues including funding and managing relationships between governments at local, state and federal levels; the benefits—or not—of working with NGOs and reflections on interactions between cultural practitioners from different local, regional and national areas.

We encourage the development of themes from within the participant group to the fullest extent possible and note that further issues for discussion could also include the application of various tools—including for example the application of fire—used for indigenous land management and the role of conservation or protection of country for conservation, hunting or locally-specific reasons and the benefits for individuals, local hunter-gatherer societies and the broader community of such activities.