Table 2. Summaries of differences among types of Indigenous engagement in environmental management

Indigenous-governed collaborations (IG) Indigenous-driven co-governance (ICoG) Agency-driven co-governance (ACoG) Agency governance (AG)
Power sharing
Decision making level and control Decision making between Indigenous agencies; high Indigenous control Decision making defined by Indigenous law and culture and partner requirements; substantial Indigenous control Decision making by agency and Indigenous people according to agreed structures, typically committees; substantial agency control Depends on specific project, usually agency controlled but local scale provides Indigenous input
Rules-definition Rules defined by Indigenous organizations working together to shape contemporary Indigenous governance Rules defined by Indigenous peoples as constrained by partner requirements Rules defined by agency as constrained by legislative and policy recognition of Indigenous rights Rules defined by agency constrained only by legally enforced Indigenous rights
Resource cultural values and property rights Resources highly valued by Indigenous societies; rights may be defined/constrained but viewed as open to transformation Resources of lesser value in industrial economy (hinterlands of first world economies); Indigenous property rights strong Resources of contested value between industrial and Indigenous economies; Indigenous property rights defined and contained Resources highly valued by industrial economy, e.g., water in heavily used systems; few Indigenous property rights
Participatory processes and functions Inclusivity that engages Indigenous people in new Indigenous institution building Inclusivity that engages Indigenous people in new environmental institution building Indigenous rights-based negotiation, e.g., for Native Title Acts, cultural heritage clearances Participation through stakeholder mechanisms,
e.g., committees, projects
Organizations engaged Diverse Indigenous organizations at multiple scales Diverse Indigenous and nonindigenous organizations at multiple scales Government agencies and NGOs, with defined Indigenous roles, e.g., Land Councils Government agencies and NGOs with defined environment management roles
Coordination Cross-regional and cross-jurisdictional empowerment of Indigenous groups Indigenous holistic place-based community empowerment Whole-of-government coordination “Silo”, agency accountability for specific mandate
Intercultural purpose
Environmental management project purposes Overall purpose of strengthening Indigenous society through environmental management Multiple purposes, reflecting Indigenous-centred holistic community planning Multiple purposes, reflecting outcomes of negotiated agreements Usually single or dual purpose, managing specific threats, species or areas
Purpose of Indigenous roles Expression of inherent rights and responsibilities Reconciliation, long-term, lasting resolution of issues Equity plus recognition of specifically defined rights Equity with other stakeholders in environmental management
Purpose of Indigenous development Indigenous modernity, people resist, accommodate, and reshape interventions Indigenous empowerment and community development Human capability development, sustainable livelihoods through deployment of assets Development as modernization and technology transfer
Capacity-building Focus on building trust and relationships between diverse Indigenous groups Focus on Indigenous and nonindigenous functionality in both Indigenous and settler society Focus on Indigenous functionality in settler society and cross-cultural training for nonindigenous people Focus on training Indigenous peoples to ensure functionality in settler-society