Research into conserving biodiversity is the concern of two of IKRMNA's partners, the Northern Territory Herbarium is one of these. Here the focus is the technical and philosophical problems of digital representation and management of indigenous knowledge so that it remains accessible and meaningful to its Indigenous custodians, while still being meaningful to non-Indigenous researchers and resource managers. How can Indigenous knowledge and scientific biodiversity research can strengthen each other?
Our focus is the technical and philosophical problems of digital representation and management of indigenous knowledge so that it remains accessible and meaningful to its Indigenous custodians, while still being meaningful to non-Indigenous researchers and resource managers
One group we connect with works out of the Northern Territory Government's Herbarium.
"The Northern Territory Herbarium is a research institution primarily concerned with the documentation of the Territory's flora.... they are are involved in taxonomic research of the Australian Flora, writing identification guides to the flora of the Northern Territory as well as maintaining the preserved collection and associated databases." http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/wildlife/science/aboutus
Here we connect up with the ethnobiology project run by Glenn Wightman. With a sense of urgency he works with mostly elderly Aboriginal men and women living in remote areas. "We need to record as much of this precious ancient knowledge as possible... before it disappears" http://www.abc.net.au/rural/telegraph/food/stories/s1167540.htm
1) The "Larrakia Plant Indentikit" has emerged from this work "The Larrakia Plant Identikit introduces you to 50 common plants in the Darwin area and will allow you to learn about the Larrakia names and uses of these plants. This Identikit also emphasises the strong relationship between plants and animals that Larrakia recognise"
2) A generic ecological/cultural knowledge organiser "Gecko" A digital resource useful for Aboriginal land managers and teachers.
This database is a series of images of Northern Territory Native plants accompanied by their Latin taxonomic name. This collection of images of plants will work in supporting Aboriginal researchers, teachers, and learners in eliciting and organising community understandings associated with those plants. Information associated with the plant (in the form of texts, audio-files, or further digital images) can be stored under the image which works as a file name. The author John Brock (NT Native Plants) has allowed us to use his images in this generic device. It has been designed to the specifications of Aboriginal ethno-botanists
3) Also utilising images supplied by John Brock, milo (multiple image locator/ organiser), is a simple software program constructed primarily to aid in the representation and location of photographic or other images without searches being mediated by, or require textal metadata.