What is Aboriginal Nation Building?

Aboriginal Nation Building refers to the processes by which an Aboriginal Nation enhances its own effective self-governance and self-determination. It is about how Aboriginal Nations pull together the tools needed to build the futures that Aboriginal Nations want, and put them into place.

In 2014, the State Government engaged Flinders University’s Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement to develop and deliver an Aboriginal Nation Building workshop program specifically tailored to South Australia. Flinders University delivers the program in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney’s Jumbunna House of Learning, the University of Arizona’s Native Nations Institute and Melbourne University’s School of Government.

Built on international best practice, the Aboriginal Nation Building program is designed to provide groups with a better understanding of the principles of Aboriginal Nation Building, strengthen the relationship between the State Government and Aboriginal Nations, and support Aboriginal leaders to build robust self-governing and sustainable institutions.

In October 2015, Flinders University delivered the first Aboriginal Nation Building workshop to Aboriginal community members at a two-day workshop in Adelaide. The State Government called for expressions of interest, and sponsored the attendance of twenty Aboriginal leaders, representing nine groups from across the State.

Following the announcement of the state’s first Aboriginal Regional Authorities in July 2016, each Aboriginal Regional Authority has participated in a tailored Aboriginal Nation Building workshop, delivered on Country by Flinders University and the international presenting team. More workshops will be announced in 2017.

A complementary Aboriginal Nation Building workshop program is also being delivered to senior State Government employees, designed to support the Public Sector to understand the fundamental importance of consultation, cooperation, and engagement with Aboriginal people in all aspects of government business. The first workshop was delivered to Chief Executives in April 2015.

Related links

Further resource information on Aboriginal Nation Building and self-governing institutions can be found at the following websites.

Social Justice and Native Title Report 2014

The Former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda included international and national research on Nation Building in Chapter 5 of the 2014 Social Justice and Native Title Report: Nations – Self-determination and a new era of Indigenous governance.

Please visit www.humanrights.gov.au for further information.

Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy

The Indigenous Governance Database was developed by the University of Arizona’s Native Nations Institute as an online resource centre for Indigenous people in search of information on Indigenous governance and leadership. The Database provides information about tools and strategies for rebuilding Indigenous Nations, and includes articles, case studies, videos and other resources focused on governance, sovereignty, leadership, and sustainable economic and community development.

Please visit nni.arizona.edu for further information.

National Congress of American Indians

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is focused on strengthening tribal nations, educating the general public, and enhancing the nation to nation relationship between tribal governments and the governments of the United States. NCAI is also actively engaged through national and international advocacy efforts, educational campaigns and events, and programmatic initiatives to promote strong tribal governments and address the many human, economic, social, environmental, and cultural needs of Native communities.

Please visit www.ncai.org for further information.

Assembly of First Nations

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a Canadian national advocacy organisation consisting of First Nation Chiefs, representing more than 900,000 First Nations people. The AFN is a forum for First Nations to conduct nation to nation discussions, consultations and deliberations and to collaborate and work together on a range of identified issues.

Please visit www.afn.ca for further information.

For more information free call 1800 127 001