Indigenous Heritage Narratives for Cultural Justice

Diane Menzies, Chris Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we consider the intersections between heritage, Indigenous knowledges and lived experiences, and how these experiences contribute to broader understandings of Indigeneity in a global heritage context. Based on interviews and questionnaires with individuals from four Indigenous nations, we explore Indigenous concepts of heritage across four themes: nature-culture integration, obligations of caring for Country, place attachment and identity, and ancestral knowledge.
The key question we address in this paper is: How do Indigenous narratives communicate cultural heritage and how might better, cross-cultural understanding bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous ideas of heritage? Exploring responses to this question can better enable Indigenous peoples to be part of discussions on heritage, particularly in relation to places of heritage value and, thus, addressing the challenges and opportunities for Indigenous heritage protection. Involvement in key decision-making processes and the future management and conservation of Indigenous heritage places,
and within the World Heritage cultural landscape context, are potential outcomes. The long-term vision for many Indigenous peoples is self-determination and the enablement to care for Country and protect their places. This narrative investigation is a very small step along a continuing journey for cultural justice (Rankin 2018).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-69
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Indigenous Heritage
  • Indigenous knowledges
  • lived experiences
  • intersections
  • Indigenous narratives
  • ideas of heritage
  • concepts of heritage


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