Abstract: Historically, Australian policy makers have associated rural Indigenous communitys high un-employment levels and low labour force participation rates with poor livelihood outcomes. The researchers therefore conducted fieldwork in Wakathuni, a remote Aboriginal community settlement located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, to determine factors affecting unemployment. However, the following conclusions were made: firstly, patterns of indigenous unemployment must be considered within a complex system relative to cultural context; and, secondly, by enforcing an understanding relative to western capitalist contexts, policy makers may never be able to fully understand Aboriginal ways of life. Alternative sustainable livelihood solutions must be sought to address economic development in remote Indigenous communities, and this would require challenging the value perspectives that inform government policy. Transformation must come from within communities, and governments need to change how they conceptualise Indigenous peoples issues; otherwise, colonising and disempowering processes will continue to be enforced.