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Cultural ActivitiesOver four days in May 2018, Indigenous community thinkers, researchers and academics from Chile and Australia got together in Brisbane and Stradbroke Island to critically discuss the problematics of extraction, development and Indigenous community sustainability. The symposium was centered on how legislation recognising Indigenous peoples’ rights to consultation prior to development impacts such as mining projects, forestry projects or other forms of extraction have brought enormous pressure and potential threats, as well as opportunities, for communities in Australia and Chile. We discussed the ways that Indigenous peoples in these nations seek to manage consultation and negotiation with powerful interests, gain development advantages, or to resist extraction processes.

Symposium Leaders and University of Queensland Academics: Sally Babidge, Anthropologist, School of Social Science, UQ; Paul Memmott, AERC and IDP; Deanna Kemp, Director. Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, UQ

Invited but unable to attend included: Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation Delegation, Brian Coghill (GoorieMooka Tours)

Kate Connell (UQ Cultural and Heritage Unit) & Alec Doomadgee (Waanyi Cultural Heritage Project) were unable to attend to present their paper - The legal and the possible. Waanyi cultural heritage projects.

Other specially invited participants included: Patricia Dallachy (Gudjal elder and Board member of the North Queensland Land Council, Charters Towers

Symposium Presentations

Introductory Presentation

Sally Babidge, Anthropologist School of Social Science, UQ

Extraction sustainability and the way Indigenous Peoples deal with extraction in their territories is a global problem. Chile and Australia have contemporary histories of extraction, political economies of extractivism and engage in the cultural politics of the recognition of Indigenous peoples and rights in comparable ways. This short presentation contemplates some of the ways in which we might learn from that comparison.
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Opportunities and Potential for Development in Context of Extraction
In this panel discussion different speakers emphasised the limitations of recognition of native title in Australia, and the Chilean speakers emphasised the problems with legal recognition of indigenous rights in Chile (Indigenous Law). Stronger recognition of indigenous rights to manage resources in the contemporary world would be a step toward beginning to address social and environmental injustices. In the case of both Australia and Chile, speakers asserted that a range of new approaches is sorely needed and new responses to the realities of Indigenous peoples lives must be found.

Ana Ramos, President of the Council of Atacameño Peoples, Chile

Outline of the ways in which the Atacamanian Peoples Council seeks to support the Indigenous Communities of the Salar de Atacama area. Discussion of the important aspects of the legal agreement between the Peoples Council and the Lithium Company, Rockwood, for equity in the mine, environmental monitoring, capacity building workshops and professional services. The presentation considered the challenges for the Peoples Council in the coming years.
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Colin Saltmere, Managing Director, Myuma Group, Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation

The Myuma Group, owned by Indjalandji and Dhidhanu traditional owners, integrates four areas of social enterprise. The discussion examined the ways in which social enterprise is facilitated through partnerships between indigenous business and extractive industries, and some of the limitations on indigenous business for indigenous businesses.
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(no slides available)

Territory, Cultural Heritage and Extractive Landscapes

Dale and Pekeri Ruska (Goorumpul Goorie owner and One Mile Residents Aboriginal Corporation, Stradbroke Island)

This presentation outlined the history of colonial rule and its impacts on original peoples of Stradbroke Island, leading up to a discussion of the way in which the authors understood mining and other extractive developments on country.
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Dante Choque-Cáseres (PhD, University of Sydney & Centre for Intercultural and Indigenous Research, Chile)

In the far north of Chile, there are moves to further privatise scarce water resources and allow mining in National Parks. Given low human and infrastructural development in the region, the pressure on indigenous and other community groups to allow these processes means that people are convinced by the need for employment.
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Mary Jean Sutton (Virtus Heritage), Dianne Nicholls Pitt (Tjungundji elder and member of the Old Mapoon Aboriginal Corporation) & Simon Pearce (GHD Consultants)

Traditional Owners from Mapoon and Cultural heritage researchers and consultants outlined the ways in which the landscape in Cape York Peninsula may be understood to hold cultural and human remains, and the project to look after the landscape. How these materials are found is a complex process that must rely on non-invasive archaeological methods. The threats to the remains include pressure from mining interests.
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Download Presentation (Esp) (PDF, 6MB)
Environmental Knowledge, Connections and Research Collaborations

Piergiorgio Di Giminiani (Pontifica Universidad Catolica & CIIR, Chile)

A key question of the symposium was the question of collaboration between academic scholars and indigenous thinkers, and this presentation raised key questions about collaborations. A case study of Mapuche farmers refusing land claims processes was used as an example of how collaborations with indigenous groups initiated by academic researchers must be flexible, critical and inclusive.
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Download Presentation (Esp) (PDF, 738KB)

Fernanda Kalazich (Universidad Catolica del Norte, Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology & CIIR)

The presentation explores the ways in which the protection of Cultural Heritage under the National Monuments Act in Chile may also safeguard indigenous territories by registering sites, declaring ‘typical zones’ and identifying historical monuments. It also identifies a range of limitations of heritage processes for territorial protection.
Download Presentation (Eng) (PDF, 4MB)
Download Presentation (Esp) (PDF, 4MB)

Nigel Wight PhD candidate Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, UQ

There has been increasing environmental activism in Chile in response to large-scale projects. HydroAysen, Agrosuper in Freirina, Pascua Lama and Dominga are the rallying points of Chilean environmental protest, as diverse local, national and international organisations form networks and sustain environmental awareness campaigns. For social researchers, divisions between environmentalists and Indigenous groups can present challenges when conducting fieldwork. Establishing connections with one key actor group may exclude the researcher from accessing other actor groups holding opposing positions. In searching for a deeper understanding of social complexity, the researcher may limit the possibility of broadening knowledge in the process. Based on fieldwork in Huasco Valley (Pascua Lama) this presentation explores the dilemmas for academics when social research requires ‘choosing sides’.
Download Presentation (Eng) (PDF, 886KB)
Download Presentation (Esp) (PDF, 887KB)

Bofedal, Andean high altitude wetlands, Manuel Prieto, Geographer, Universidad Catolica del Norte and CIIR and Karina Yager Anthropologist, Stony Brook University, New York.

Through a mixed methods approach of ecological survey, community participatory mapping and discussions with Indigenous groups, the researchers are able to show that long term indigenous management of wetlands show they are creators of pasture in the Andean highlands, and not simply “users” of the landscape. The authors argued that the ways in which Andean highland pasture had been understood previously needed to be rethought. The implication is that the histories of indigenous management are impacted by extraction industries but also conservation plans that might limit the ability of people to manage territory and water.
Download Presentation (Eng) (PDF, 886KB)
Download Presentation (Esp) (PDF, 887KB)
Extraction, Development and Their Outcomes for Indigenous Communities: Collaboration for Improving Community Futures

(no slides available)

Judith Cruz & Oriana Mora (Atacameño Indigenous Community of Peine)

The final discussion session was opened by Judith Cruz and Oriana Mora from the Indigenous Community of Peine. Judith spoke about Peine as ancestral town and the current situation where there are seven different mining operations thirsty for water, creating a range of impacts on their daily lives. Oriana spoke about the ‘double problem of participation’ in mining impact consultations; that limited the way in which they might participate in consultation and if they participated, tied them to particular development outcomes.
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Sarah Holcombe & Roger Barnes Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining

To finish, Sarah Holcombe and Rodger Barnes, both from CSRM, with long experience of the context of extractive industries in Central Australia, spoke about the ways in which communities were responding to the context of extraction within the confines of the land rights and native title legal frameworks and processes.
Charles Passi spoke about ‘country’ in the Torres Strait Islands, urged us to think about the ways that the indigenous concept of land is always interrelated with people, responsibility and compromise.

Symposium Photos

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Further Resources regarding Extraction Development and Indigenous Community Sustainability

Babidge, S. 2015 The problem with ‘transparency’: Moral contests and ethical possibilities in mining impact reporting. Focaal- Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology. 73, pp. 70-83. (Download)

Beltrán, J. 2000. “Indigenous and Traditional Peoples and Protected Areas: Principles, Guidelines and Case Studies.” Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines (4). Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. (Download)

Brereton, D., Memmott, P., Reser, J., Buultjens, J., Thomson, L., Barker, T., O’Rourke, T and Chambers, C. 2007 Mining and Indigenous Tourism in Northern Australia. Gold Coast: Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd. (Download)

Buultjens, J., Brereton, D., Memmott, P., Reser, J., Thomson, L. and O’Rourke, T. 2010. “The Mining Sector and Indigenous Tourism Development in Weipa, Queensland.” Tourism Management 31, pp. 597-606. (Download)

Conyers L.B., St Pierre E.J., Sutton M.J., Walker C., 2018. Integration of GPR and magnetics to study the interior features and history of earth mounds, Mapoon, Queensland, Australia. Archaeological Prospection 2018, pp. 1–10 (Download)

Doyle, C.M. 2014. Indigenous Peoples, Title to Territory, Rights and Resources: The Transformative Role of Free Prior and Informed Consent. London: Routledge

Howitt, R., Connell, J. and Hirsch, P. 1996. Resources, nations and Indigenous peoples: case studies from Australia, Melanesia ad Southeast Asia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Howlett, C. 2010 “Flogging a Dead Horse? Neo-Marxism and Indigenous Mining Negotiations.” Australian Journal of Political Science 45 (3), pp. 457-474. (Download)

Jenkins, H. 2004. “Corporate Social Responsibility and the Mining Industry: Conflicts and Constructions.” Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management 11, pp. 23–34. (Download)

Kitula, A.G.N. 2006. “The Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts of Mining on Local Livelihoods in Tanzania: A Case Study of Geita District.” Journal of Cleaner Production 14, pp. 405-414. (Download)

Lertzman, D.A. and Vredenburg, H. 2005. “Indigenous Peoples, Resource Extraction and Sustainable Development: An Ethical Approach.” Journal of Business Ethics 56, pp. 239-254. (Download)

Maxi L. 2004. “A Case Study in Multinational Corporate Accountability: Ecuador's Indigenous Peoples Struggle for Redress.” Denver Journal of International Law and Policy 32, pp. 701-732. (Download)

Memmott, P. 2012. “On Generating Culturally Sustainable Enterprises and Demand-Response Services in Remote Aboriginal Settings: A Case Study from North-West Queensland.” In Fijn, N., Keen, I., Lloyd, C and Pickering, M. (eds.), Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies II: Historical Engagements and Current Enterprises. Australian National University E-press and National Museum of Australia, Chapter 14. (Download)

Rawashdeh, R.A., Campbell, G. and Titi, A. 2016. “The Socio-Economic Impacts on Local Communities: The Case of Jordan.” The Extractive Industries and Society 3, pp. 494-507. (Download)

Tsosie, R. 2009. “Climate Change, Sustainability and Globalization: Charting the Future of Indigenous Environmental Self-Determination.” Environment & Energy Law & Policy Journal 4 (2), pp.188-255 (Download)

Virtual Heritage. 2017 “Mapoon Unmarked Graves, Cemeteries and Mounds: Ground Penetrating Investigations.” Stage 3, Community Report. Report to Mapoon Aboriginal Shire Council and the Western Cape Communities Trust. Weipa, Australia: Western Cape Communities Trust. (Download)

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