Samuel's cover image
Samuel

Samuel Bayley

Year of Award: 2013 Award State: Western Australia Social Welfare > Indigenous
To investigate key factors that enable Indigenous communities to successfully manage natural resources and increase social capital - Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Canada
Download

The aim of my Winston Churchill Fellowship was to visit and explore Indigenous communities that are having success at managing natural resources such as marine and terrestrial protected areas.  I wanted to draw out ideas, concepts and models that I could bring back specifically to my project and the greater community.

In recent years there has been a lot of effort put into developing financially sustainable projects, many of which have been successful. For example the development of the Carbon Abatement Fire Projects for Indigenous ranger groups and the increasing amount of Fee for Service Contracts ranger groups hold with outside agencies and organisations. However I was interested in looking at the social and human requirements needed to effectively establish and maintain programs and projects – what I call social human capital (e.g. leadership, knowledge, networks, habits, community support and creativity).

In setting up my research sites I wanted to get a wide array of examples from different historical, legal and social frameworks.  This took me to four countries; Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Canada and the United States of America. Within each, I visited Indigenous communities to explore the differences and similarities between them and to discover pathways for increasing a community’s social and human capital stocks.

Through a network of contacts, I found a local facilitator in each of these countries who was generous and willing to develop a schedule of activities that would allow me to both explore these themes and to share my own experiences with the local peoples.

In Papua New Guinea, Dr Pongie Kichawen arranged for me to visit Manus Island and meet and hear about their Council of Chiefs system aimed at bringing power and community management back to a local level and Cosmos Apelis arranged a visit for me to Kimbe Bay looking at locally managed marine areas.  In Kalimantan, the lovely people from the Nature Conservancy organised a visit to Berau Regency to hear from local fisherman who had formed a group that promotes sustainable, more traditional fishing regimes.  In Canada I was joined by six Karajarri people from the Kimberley and we were hosted by Sandra Thompson from the Coastal Stewardship program who took us on a tour of small Indigenous communities in British Columbia, demonstrating ways in which they have been able to leverage support to effectively assert land rights and actively practice their cultural law and customs.  Lastly, in the United States of America, Nina Paige Hadley and Paul Dye from the Nature Conservancy took me to northern Washington state where I learnt about the strength and determination of the Macaw and Quinault tribal nations who are managing their own fisheries.

In addition to myself this Winston Churchill Fellowship enabled nine others to participate in a once in a lifetime experience. We were able to fundraise over $40,000 so that six Indigenous leaders from the Karajarri tribe could join me on the Canadian leg of the journey. Thanks to the Coastal Stewardship Network an additional three ladies from the North West territories Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation group also joined us. This created a travelling learning hub, fostered friendships between countries and created an environment in which we actively shared our learning experiences when visiting communities. The benefits of these interactions, between the group and our host communities, were priceless in terms of information exchange, cultural connections and the energy received and given.  This exceptional outcome was far greater than what I could have expected or hoped to achieve by myself.

The following report will draw on my travels to take you on a journey of themes I believe crucial to successful Indigenous natural resource management.

Related fellows
Paul Bridge, Paul
Social Welfare > Indigenous
2013
Carly Davenport, Carly
Social Welfare > Indigenous
2013
Gemma McKinnon, Gemma
Social Welfare > Indigenous
2012
Sean O'Toole, Sean
Social Welfare > Indigenous
2012
Tania Porter, Tania
Social Welfare > Indigenous
2012
Jared Sharp, Jared
Social Welfare > Indigenous
2012
Belinda Wainwright, Belinda
Social Welfare > Indigenous
2014
Colin MOORE, Colin
Social Welfare > Indigenous
2011
Noritta MORSEU-DIOP, Noritta
Social Welfare > Indigenous
2011
Rae SINCLAIR, Rae
Social Welfare > Indigenous
2011