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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for One (1) Year

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Sonya Atalay

Second Advisor

Jane Anderson

Third Advisor

Charles M. Schweik

Fourth Advisor

Krista Harper

Subject Categories



This research investigates how and why protocols are developed in response to a variety of issues impacting culturally diverse groups in situations where laws and policies fall short. Although protocols have not been widely adopted in the United States, they are increasingly useful for negotiating cultural rights in Australia and across the globe in multiple contexts including biodiversity conservation, the arts, archives and collections, and heritage management. This study examines six protocols created by and with Indigenous peoples in Australia to address an array of issues involving access to, control of, and care for community and personal knowledges, culturally important plants and animals, and sacred landscapes. The protocols examined were created in different regions of Australia, each of which is continuing to experience significant impacts from settler colonial land dispossession and removal, development, and intense collecting practices. Using Indigenous Research Methods, community-based research methods, ethnography and other qualitative anthropological methods, this study illustrates how protocols facilitate two-ways knowledge sharing and increased cultural understanding resulting in behavior change and more equitable relationships. This study demonstrates how protocols can be deployed in different settler-colonial contexts to change the behavior of non-Indigenous people and organizations. As the research shows, protocols are a powerful tool for changing behavior through education. Multiple digital technologies are examined as potential options for mobilizing knowledge to train students on protocols and ethical research methods.