Law for country: the structure of Warlpiri ecological knowledge and its application to natural resource management and ecosystem stewardship

Holmes, Miles C. C. and Jampijinpa, Wanta (Stephen Patrick) (2013) Law for country: the structure of Warlpiri ecological knowledge and its application to natural resource management and ecosystem stewardship. Ecology and Society, 18 3: . doi:10.5751/ES-05537-180319

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Author Holmes, Miles C. C.
Jampijinpa, Wanta (Stephen Patrick)
Title Law for country: the structure of Warlpiri ecological knowledge and its application to natural resource management and ecosystem stewardship
Journal name Ecology and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1708-3087
Publication date 2013
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5751/ES-05537-180319
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 18
Issue 3
Total pages 14
Place of publication Waterloo, ON, Canada
Publisher Resilience Alliance Publications
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Indigenous Ecological Knowledge (IEK) is deeply encoded in social processes. Our research shows that from an Indigenous perspective, IEK is a way of living whose core aim is to sustain the healthy functioning of people and country through relationships of reciprocity. However, IEK is often portrayed more prosaically as a body of knowledge about the environment. We introduce a framework, called ngurra-kurlu, that enables appreciation of indigenous perspectives on IEK. The framework was identified from the collaborative work of the authors with Warlpiri aboriginal elders in the Tanami Desert region of central Australia. Ngurra-kurlu facilitates cross-cultural understanding by distilling, from a complex cultural system, the five distinct conceptual categories that comprise IEK: law, skin, ceremony, language, and country. The framework enables engagement with nuanced environmental knowledge because it synthesizes, for cross-cultural audiences, all the key areas of knowledge and practice in which IEK is located. In particular, the framework highlights how social systems mediate the transmission, deployment, and regulation of environmental knowledge in on-ground situations, including collaborative natural resource management. Although the framework was generated in relation to one indigenous group, the epistemological structure of Warlpiri IEK is relevant throughout Australia, and the framework can be applied internationally to the emerging interest in fostering ecosystem stewardship in which the cultural connections between people and place are an integral part of ecosystems management.
Keyword Aboriginal Australians
Anthropology
Central Australia
Cultural natural resource management
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article # 19

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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