Living Waters, Law First: Nyikina and Mangala water governance in the Kimberley, Western Australia

Living Waters, Law First: Nyikina and Mangala water governance in the Kimberley, Western Australia Journal Article

Australasian Journal of Water Resources

  • Author(s): RiverOfLife, Martuwarra, Taylor, Katherine S., Poelina, Anne
  • Published: 2021
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Volume: 25
  • ISBN: 1324-1583

Abstract: The 'Living Waters, Law First' water governance framework centres Living Waters, First Law and the health/well-being of people and Country. The framework is based on a groundwater policy position developed by the Walalakoo Aboriginal Corporation (WAC), the Nyikina and Mangala peoples' native title corporation, in the West Kimberley, Western Australia in 2018. This article celebrates Traditional Owner's pragmatic decolonising strategies. It explores the emerging conceptual challenges to the status quo by comparing the Living Waters, First Law framework to Australia's settler state water governance framework, represented by the National Water Initiative. Bacchi's 'what is the problem represented to be' approach is used to interrogate the underlying assumptions and logics (2009). We find that there are incommensurable differences with First Law and the Australian water reform agenda. Yet, our analysis also suggests 'bridges' in relation to sustainability, benefits and responsibilities could promote dialogues towards decolonial water futures.

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Suggested Citation
RiverOfLife, Martuwarra, Taylor, Katherine S., Poelina, Anne, 2021, Living Waters, Law First: Nyikina and Mangala water governance in the Kimberley, Western Australia, Volume:25, Journal Article, viewed 23 May 2024, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=38664.

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