National Museum of Australia's Indigenous Cultural Rights and Engagement Policy
The objective of the Museum’s Policy is to recognise that Indigenous stakeholders have rights to their cultural heritage.
The Policy sets out the principles that guide how the Museum engages with Indigenous stakeholders about their rights to access, control and maintain their cultural heritage in the range of the Museum’s activities, including acquisitions, exhibitions, research, education and other programs.
Cultural heritage incorporates all aspects of knowledge (e.g. sciences, plant and animal knowledge, stories, designs and symbols, ritual knowledge), artefacts (e.g. arts, crafts, weapons, and tools), performances (including ceremonies, dance and song), human remains, and includes the secret and sacred.
Further, the Museum aims to:
- Meaningfully engage with Indigenous people, their cultural heritage and associated rights, including through appropriate interpretation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage within the Museum
- Give public acknowledgement to the value of Indigenous cultural heritage and to reinforce its support for the recognition of Indigenous stakeholders’ rights to their cultural heritage, and
- Establish a transparent feedback and complaints process regarding its engagement with Indigenous people.
The Museum’s primary engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and with Indigenous cultural material relates to the Museum’s collections, exhibitions and programs.
The Policy was developed in response to the Museum’s commitment to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and recognition of Australia’s Indigenous people’s rights to their cultural heritage.
Expected results include, but are not limited to:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will be involved in the use and interpretation of their cultural heritage, in relation to materials in the Museum’s collections, exhibitions and programs, through the implementation of this policy.
- A$9,680 on in 2016-17
- A$25,400 in 2014-15
- A$10,080 in 2013-14