Capitalising on natural resources and indigenous knowledge
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Description: Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are conducting successful natural resource enterprises in a range of areas including tourism, bush foods and aquaculture, while others are seeking to develop an enterprise. This Proceedings describes the discussions and outcomes of a workshop on Indigenous natural resource enterprises held in Broome, Western Australia in August, 2004. The workshop pulled together Aboriginal people and professionals from across Western Australia and beyond, to focus on the significant issues impacting upon the future development of Aboriginal natural resource enterprises within the state of Western Australia.The workshop was convened by a Steering Committee comprising representatives from Aboriginal organizations, Government agencies and research and advocacy groups (Appendix 1). Over sixty people, mostly Aboriginal, participated in the two-day workshop (Appendix 2). Following the formal workshop sessions, a three-day tour was conducted of Aboriginal enterprises on the Dampier Peninsula. The tour allowed participants to talk with Aboriginal entrepreneurs from the Kullarri region and share experiences and ideas with one another.The workshop provided the opportunity for people to come together and share their knowledge and experience in natural resource enterprises. The workshop format of structured discussions and presentations around central themes followed by plenary and planning sessions allowed for informed debate from an Indigenous perspective on issues of central importance to the development of Aboriginal enterprises.The vision for the workshop was:Indigenous employment and enterprise though natural resources, science and traditional knowledge systemsWorkshop sessions were held on four key topic areas:1.Strategic planning for Aboriginal natural resource enterprise development;2.Culturally appropriate education and training for traditional knowledge and Aboriginal natural resource enterprise development;3.Legal protection for traditional knowledge of natural resources;4.Role of agencies in the development of natural resource enterprises.Attendees rotated between discussion groups on the four topics and key issues or comments made by each group were recorded and collated. These workshops were followed by a strategic planning session in which the major issues and comments were discussed and recommendations for future action formulated.
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