I recently completed my Doctorate of Philosophy with the School of Indigenous Knowledges and Public Policy at Charles Darwin University.
Being With County is a blog that I used to document my auto-ethnographic and ethnographic research and storytelling with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people-in-place about our collective acts of being with country.
A key aim of my research was to challenge Western paradigms of how non-Indigenous peoples relate to place.
My doctoral thesis examines the performance of people–place relationships on the Lurujarri Dreaming Trail, an ancestral dreaming track in north-western Western Australia. Storytelling and ethnographic practices were employed to explore the agency of stories in making visible and holding together people–place relationships, and for their potential to invoke ways of being that involve both people and place as ‘country’ in an Indigenous sense.
A broader realisation of ‘country’ on the Trail, by more than just Indigenous peoples, shows that a relational ontology of being with country is also being performed by non-Indigenous people.
This thesis shows how relationships between non-Indigenous people and the land, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples are being transformed, and how these relationships offer pathways towards reconciliation.
Dr Nia Emmanouil