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Dja Dja Wurrung Agreements

Feb 19, 2018

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    Statement of the topic.

    Community-level agreements within the Dja Dja Wurrung people

    towards the conformation of the joint management boards after the

    Traditional Owners Settlement Act !"!#

    Aims.

    Problem statement.

    There is an increasing concern on how to improve indigenous wellbeing

    through the implementation of public and social policies $Closing the %ap

    Clearinghouse $A&'W( A&)S* !"+*# Also( involvement of &ndigenous people

    in decision-ma,ing about their own development has been ac,nowledged

    as critical for improving their wellbeing $Tsey et al# !" 'unt !"+*#

    &ndigenous people have addressed their interest to participate in the

    decision-ma,ing processes related with traditional lands( highlighting that

    their claim is not for .Western-style/ land ownership rights# &nstead( their

    claim is for the right to participate in the control of the lands( claiming for

    the 0authority to say what 1they2 want done with 1their2 lands3 $Wearing 4

    'uys,ens !!"*# &s e5pectable that the involvement of aboriginal

    communities in decision-ma,ing processes could have positive impacts in

    their community development( but there/s a lac, of ,nowledge on how

    their informal processes of governance wor,( what is its in6uence and how

    they could be strengthened $Tsey et al# !"*# This research will improve

    the understanding on how informal and formal processes of governance

    are shaped by community leaders discourses( clarifying those discursive

    elements that facilitate community-level accords#

    Project aims.

    The purpose of this research is to understand how formal and informal

    governance processes led to community-level accords within the Dja Dja

    Wurrung people( in the conte5t of negotiations that led to the settlement

    between them and the State of 7ictoria under the Traditional Owner

    Settlement Act !"!#

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    To do so( this research focuses on understanding the discursive

    elements related with land ownership and land traditional purposes

    among aboriginal leaders( see,ing to clarify the conceptual framewor,

    that shaped in community-level governance processes#

    The data collection for this research will be carried out through semi-

    structured interviews to community leaders( focus group( and review of

    o8cial documents#

    The data will be analysed under content analysis strategies of the

    discourses of Dja Dja Wurrung leaders that participated in the negotiations

    with the community and the state( and document analysis#

    Research questions.

    o 9ajor research :uestion#

    'ow negotiations within the Dja Dja Wurrung people shaped

    community-level agreements under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act

    negotiations;

    o Subsidiary research :uestions#

    a* What are the ,ey elements present in the discourse of the Dja

    Dja Wurrung leaders related with land ownership recognition and

    land use for traditional purposes;b* 'ow these elements were articulated during negotiations within

    the community to reach a shared discourse on behalf of the Dja

    Dja Wurrung people;c* 'ow this discourse is perceived by community leaders as a

    narrative that shaped the community/s formal and informal

    governance processes towards the Traditional Owner Settlement

    Act negotiations;

    Background.

    o Theoretical perspective#

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    The aim of this research is to understand how those discursive

    elements present in the leaders/ discourses shaped governance

    procedures that led to a community-level agreement towards the

    Traditional Owners Settlement Act negotiations# &t assumes that aconceptual framewor, underlying these discourses has been shaped by

    shared and negotiated meanings related with land ownership and

    traditional land uses claims that characteri

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    relations that can facilitate the understanding of the phenomena

    proposed#

    Theories of association

    As ich points out( associations can facilitate $or hinder* governance in

    democratic conte5ts# As diverse as they are( it will be necessary to

    identify and describe some characteristics related with formal and

    informal procedures( distinct hierarchical lines or other principles that

    helps to distribute legitimate power( and decision-ma,ing procedures

    $>anyan !!B*# This will help to understand more about the wor, of the

    Dja Dja Wurrung people groups involved in negotiations( and how they

    perceive their participation in such ,ind of associations in relation with

    western-culture democratic values( considering that 0through group

    activities( participation in associations teaches citianyan !!B( p#+"*# As democratic pluralism highlights( it will be

    addressed how 0giving a concentrated voice to minorities( and by

    providing a mechanism for citi

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    $>anyan !!B( p#G*# Conceptually( involvement both discursive and

    action-oriented creates and strengths social ties within a community

    $>anyan !!B Eutnam "@@G*# Through the analysis of the discourses of

    the leaders of the community( it will be addressed a speciHc approach tothose perceived elements that facilitates the civic engagement of both the

    members of the communities and their leaders( related with aboriginal

    concepts of rights and values $land( recognition( etc#*#

    Capabilities and Capacit building

    Sen describes capabilities as 0characteristics of individual advantages3

    $!!G( p#"G* that brings opportunities for development of individuals( but

    can be useful for community development# &n this sense( he proposes the

    idea of the 0power to participate in the social life of the community3

    $!!G( p#"G* as a capability well related with the social embedment of

    these abilities# &n relation with the research( the activities of leaders and

    their capacity to rise legitimate discourses will be addressed through the

    analysis of the particular elements of those discourses that facilitates

    legitimacy attribution from the community( loo,ing for which elements are

    enacted and how are they articulated in the general discourses# &t will be

    addressed how these leaders perceive their discourses as elements that

    strengths the social fabric in their communities( assuming that they have

    developed the 0ability to eFectively ta,e part in governance3( accessing

    to decision-ma,ing venues $>anyan !!B( p#* as leaders and members

    of their community( where 0I the focus is on increasing the availability of

    information and participation of underprivileged( underserved( or

    impoverished members of society3 $!!B( p#*# 'ere( the role of leaders

    and their capacity to enact legitimate discourses in a community-based

    level is to 0give voice and status to previously underrepresented

    populations#3 $!!B( p#*#

    !ndigenous governance

    Conceptually( indigenous governance recogni

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    of indigenous governance that e5isted prior to colonilatter

    !!B*# This research presuppose that the community-level agreementsand formal and informal ways of organise their wor, towards the

    negotiations with the State and other public and private sta,eholders#

    "egitimac

    Jegitimacy is a comple5 concept with a long standing tradition in

    sociology( that is related with the acceptance of a regime or system of

    governance and the sources of that acceptance $>latter !!B*( or even

    the acceptance of the leadership within that regime $Weber "@*# &n its

    more social strand( the concept has been related with 0the will of the

    people3 $instead of formal procedures*( where legitimacy of a regime or a

    leadership derives from 0the aFective commitment to the community3

    $>latter !!B( p#G"*# &n this sense( and as an analytical approach( this

    research will try to understand how the discourses of the leaders of the

    community are able to generate a legitimate discourse( if it is seen as

    representative of the collective interests( and if it is perceived as an

    eFective driver to legitimate community-based agreements#

    "eadership

    As Castells states( the control of the connection points between

    diFerent strategic networ,s is a source of power( and those who hold

    those positions can e5ercise leadership [email protected]*# &n the conte5t of this

    search( given the novelty of the proposal for joint management lands( we

    assume that the leaders of aboriginal communities e5ercise a very special

    ,ind of leadership in which their position plays a relevant role in at least

    two diFerent strategic networ,s= that of the 0western3 political system

    that managed the public lands and that networ, interested in the

    recognition of traditional ownership on those lands# Jiterature on

    aboriginal communities has pointed out descriptions on lac, of legitimacy

    of community leaders $Wynberg( Schroeder 4 Chennells [email protected]*# Jeadersstruggle to maintain their legitimacy before their communities in conte5ts

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    of high mistrust( and are increasingly being object of accountability

    claims( as in 0western3 culture-ba

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