This seminar will traverse the key issues for Indigenous-led research and the need for a paradigm shift. The cultural integrity of the land and waters on Country is maintained by Aboriginal peoples interpreting how all things were formed through Aboriginal laws and creation story. The inherent relationships of Aboriginal peoples with land and water are regulated by this knowledge. The importance of research being undertaken by Indigenous peoples is crucial and over time incrementally increases the critical mass of legal researchers and academics writing from an Indigenous position. Dr Valerie Cooms, former Aboriginal Judge of the National Native Title Tribunal and a Traditional Owner of the Nunukul people of North Stradbroke Island, stated, “unless there are more Indigenous people writing and publishing, there’s not a lot for other scholars to hang their theory on”. Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith in her seminal book Decolonizing Methodologies wrote that the development of methodologies has evolved from colonialism and the requirement for Indigenous peoples to make claims, assertions and re-claim their rights before formal tribunals, courts, governments and research projects. What has also developed is an ever-increasing desire for Indigenous knowledge to capture and often commercialise Indigenous knowledge, with growing implications for Indigenous intellectual property rights, Indigenous communities and research.
About the speaker
Dr Virginia Marshall, Wiradjuri Nyemba, is the inaugural Indigenous Postdoctoral Fellow of the Australian National University, with the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) and the Fenner School of Environment and Society. Virginia is a practicing lawyer, writer and researcher and leading legal scholar on Aboriginal water rights and interests. Virginia is a member of the ANU Human Research Ethics Committee and guest member for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).