Rethinking Indigenous governance model/s

Thursday, 18 June 2015
David Evans

The inability of mainstream governance models to “cut through” the complexities and nuances of Indigenous organisations and their environments compromises the building of long-term sustainable benefits for Indigenous organisations, communities and stakeholders. Neither does ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ in applying governance standards to Indigenous contexts where cultural and regional community characteristics may differ significantly. There is a need to re-think Indigenous governance models and teaching frameworks to incorporate Indigenous sensitivities while still adhering to good governance principles. This paper outlines the mainstream governance model and standards being used in Indigenous governance training and highlights the gaps and challenges in delivering effective and sustainable outcomes. The core principles of good corporate governance are discussed then linked to an Indigenous environment. These principles are “re-packaged” into an adaptable and flexible Indigenous Governance model and training framework that can deliver tangible and sustainable benefits. Specifically, this paper will address the following:

  • Characteristics of the mainstream corporate governance model
  • Challenges for Indigenous organisations in applying this model
  • The core principles of good governance
  • Bridging the gap between mainstream and Indigenous governance models
  • Considerations in building Indigenous governance models
  • An Indigenous Governance training framework for long term sustainable benefits.