This is the Final Report of the Hazards, Culture and Indigenous Communities (HCIC) project. This project considers the challenges and opportunities arising out of engagements between Indigenous peoples and natural hazard and land management government agencies in southern Australia. The majority of this activity has focused on cultural burning, which has also been our focus.
The research found that when the sector does not account for cultural protocols and permissions as part of its core business, this produces barriers to collaboration because it:
- consolidates suspicion amongst Aboriginal people about public sector intentions;
- compromises the role of Aboriginal staff recruited to act as conduits between the public sector and Indigenous peoples;
- often results in Aboriginal people being perceived as delaying an activity, thereby entrenching racist attitudes that working with Indigenous people is difficult;
- continues to undermine Indigenous peoples’ self-determination, rights and relationships with Country and each other; and,
- works against government policy to support partnership approaches with Indigenous peoples.