Co-mapping on Country

Co-map­ping on Coun­try, led by Kim Mahood, involves cre­at­ing large mul­ti-pur­pose can­vas maps with Tra­di­tion­al Own­ers to facil­i­tate com­mu­ni­ca­tion, dis­cus­sion and deci­sion mak­ing. The project, fund­ed by Coop­er­a­tive Research Cen­tre for Devel­op­ing North­ern Aus­tralia (CRC­NA), is based on the con­cept that maps act as excel­lent ​‘bound­ary objects’ for help­ing nego­ti­ate the spaces between dif­fer­ent cul­tures and knowl­edges. Maps are an effec­tive engage­ment tool with land at the cen­tre and are tan­gi­ble items, with sig­nif­i­cance for both Abo­rig­i­nal and non-Indige­nous peo­ple, that facil­i­tate dia­logue and plan­ning in com­plex environments. 

Those involved in the co-map­ping process devel­op a ​‘liv­ing’ map that priv­i­leges sto­ries, sites, flora/​fauna and lan­guage that they see as use­ful to: make deci­sions about economic/​social devel­op­ments; edu­cate young peo­ple; and edu­cate non-Indige­nous peo­ple. Once digi­tised, maps will be made inter­ac­tive on 3D tiles, over­laid with addi­tion­al sci­en­tif­ic infor­ma­tion, and held by the com­mu­ni­ty to use for edu­ca­tion and devel­op­ment purposes.

Co-map­ping forms the foun­da­tion of ALEDA’s six com­mer­cial pilot projects, extend­ing this method­ol­o­gy for the first time to use in Indige­nous-led com­mer­cial devel­op­ment plan­ning. Ide­al­ly, the map is the begin­ning of the inte­grat­ed report­ing com­po­nent of the knowl­edge man­age­ment sys­tem, the first activ­i­ty of a broad­er two-way gov­er­nance cur­ricu­lum – cus­tom­ary and cor­po­rate governance. 

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