The Keeping Place Project

WA

Easier access to a wealth of cultural heritage information and improved relationships between Traditional Owners and resource companies are not the only benefits from The Keeping Place project. The ILSC’s support of this innovative project has helped Indigenous people to protect their culture and manage their land.

The Keeping Place Project in WA has created an online geospatial cultural heritage management system providing improved avenues for Indigenous groups to store and access their cultural information.

The project is a co-funded partnership involving the ILSC; native title groups Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation (KNAC) and Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation; and resources companies BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto. It also has the support of the National Trust of Western Australia.

Indigenous groups now have an innovative technology solution for managing native title and related land management and development issues that also gives them meaningful access to cultural information drawn from more than 40 years of resources companies conducting heritage surveys on Nyiyaparli country. The Keeping Place Project puts the stories of the Nyiyaparli Traditional Owners told during these surveys into the hands of the people to whom they are most meaningful.

KNAC had a developmental and guiding role in the technology solution and Nyiyaparli Traditional Owners developed the cultural protocols to be applied in the system.

The project has helped in improving relationships between Traditional Owners and resource companies and workshops have been held to determine how the technology solution could be adapted and used for the benefit of other Traditional Owner groups.

KNAC now has access to repositories of cultural and heritage information and a management system that supports them to protect significant cultural heritage sites. The innovative geospatial tool can be used to collect, store and appropriately share cultural knowledge, perform desktop assessments of heritage surveys, plan land management projects and maintain compliance with land use agreements.

A new Indigenous-owned company has been formed with KNAC as the founding member and is now making the technology available nationally. The ownership model enables other Indigenous groups to join as owner-members of the company.

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