Anthropologists have a significant role in the functioning of the native title system in Australia, especially, although not exclusively, in undertaking connection research to demonstrate the evidentiary basis of claims. The Australian Government has recognised a lack of sufficiently qualified anthropologists to satisfy the requirements of the native title system in this regard and, to address the shortfall, has provided competitive grant funding for activities related to recruitment and training. In 2010 the Australian National University (ANU) attracted funding from the Attorney- General's Department's Native Title Anthropologist Grants Program (NTAG Program) to support a native title anthropological field school and complementary on-campus workshop intensive. The field school was an experimental form of training designed to give anthropology graduates and early-career anthropologists a clearer understanding of work in the native title field. It was both novel and effective, primarily because its experiential approach provided multi-sensory and responsive solutions to diverse student needs. It allowed for concepts and theories in native title to be connected to daily realities and the pragmatics of research and interaction with Aboriginal people. This article focuses primarily on the field school component of the program as the novel form of training for native title anthropology but includes a brief discussion of the on-campus intensive.
|Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
|Published - 2015