“Living on the Ground”: Research Which Sustains Living Culture

  • Zohl dé Ishtar
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 34)


Living on the Ground” is a research practice that positions non-Indigenous researchers as partners with Indigenous peoples as they themselves act to foster individual resilience and promote collective sustainability in their community. Based on Indigenous Self-Determination, Relationship and Phenomenological Presence, “Living on the Ground” is a process of inquiry which furthers the local peoples’ Living Culture, an empowering cultural force which when potent enables culturally marginalised people to withstand seemingly insurmountable obstacles resulting from colonialism and cultural trauma. Living Culture is created when peoples live their lives according to their own cultural philosophies and practices. This methodology was developed while the author lived and worked with the women elders of the remote desert community of Balgo (in the south-eastern Kimberley region of Western Australia) to develop the Kapululangu Women’s Law and Culture Centre, a dynamic intergenerational cultural knowledge transmission initiative aimed at recentralising the elders so that they can raise the community’s children and youth with pride in their Indigenous identity.

Living on the ground methodology Living culture Indigenous women Partnership Indigenous Self-Determination Empowerment Cultural trauma Participatory Action Research (PAR) Phenomenology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zohl dé Ishtar
    • 1
  1. 1.Kapululangu Aboriginal Women’s Association, Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict StudiesUniversity of QueenslandAustralia

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