Environmental crises such as the collapse of fisheries can be an important driver for accumulating new knowledge, improving learning, promoting the adaptation of knowledge and reinforcing memory of cultural practices. The concept of community resilience is used to describe the ways in which communities adapt to surprise events (e.g. environmental crises) without fundamental changes to their unique characters. Although communities require resilience to effectively inter-relate to their environment, indigenous perspectives on resilience have largely been overlooked. Indigenous fisheries institutions in Aotearoa New Zealand (Tai-apure and M-ataitai) have arisen from land claims processes. They enable local communities, Indigenous and non- Indigenous, to work together to address the depletion of important species in the coastal zone. Using interview testimony, we reflect on the ways in which Tai-apure and M-ataitai affect cultural and community resilience. We identified that they have recognized Indigenous rights and reinvigorated Indigenous culture, particularly stewardship and knowledge sharing. However, they have also resulted in a lack of holistic management, and provide an example of the leadership required when re-negotiating post-colonial relationships that have implications for cultural change. The local scale of these institutions has transformed cross-cultural relationships, providing a bridge between community and culture. Although community and cultural resilience share characteristics, cultural resilience generates greater emphasis on responsibility, identity and leadership. Without resilient culture however, the knowledge and diversity that underpin community resilience risks being lost.
2013 University Research Conference: Communicate, Collaborate, Connect - Research on the Rise, Sunshine Coast, Australia 1-5 July 2013