Collaborative experiential future scenario-building for Indigenous water futures

Dr Julian Yates1

1Monash University, 


This talk explores the potential for collaborative planning processes of experiential future scenario-building to inform Indigenous water futures. Experiential future scenario building is a co-designed engagement approach for developing collective intelligence, imagination, and planning. It offers the potential for transforming knowledge creation processes so as to contribute to environmental and epistemic justice, as well as more inclusive and socially-relevant scholarship. I explore this potential in the context of Indigenous leadership in water governance by building on Kyle Whyte’s approach to Indigenizing environmental futures. Potential Indigenous water futures build on processes of renewing Indigenous environmental knowledges and bringing together Indigenous communities to strengthen self-determined decision-making and planning processes in water governance. I explore how collaborative experiential future scenario development may be applied by Indigenous groups to design and plan for Indigenous water futures, therefore building autonomous environmental governance paradigms that are not simply incorporated into environmental management-as-usual. I relate these possibilities to cases in British Columbia (Canada), and Victoria (Australia). I situate the discussion within ongoing debates on participatory approaches in the fields of critical development studies, Indigenous studies, and environmental governance.


Julian is a lecturer in human geography at Monash University. His research focuses on the Indigenous knowledge-sharing networks, adult education, Indigenous leadership in contexts of rural development and environmental governance.

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