3 online resources to learn about governance and collaborative decision making with Indigenous and local communities

Three comprehensive learning resources to help inform, develop, and enhance knowledge on Indigenous governance and consultation and consent mechanisms are available online and are free to access.


Carefully designed on the principle that the histories of Indigenous peoples, communities, organizations and nations shape their governance practices and decision-making processes, these online resources are intended to enhance the ability of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals to advance sustainable development while upholding the rights and autonomy of communities. 

Find out more about these resources, enabled by BHP Foundation in line with our commitment to support partner organizations to drive change by creating collaborative relationships that facilitate learning. 

1. Collaborative Consent

This course provides an introduction to the concept of collaborative consent with the intention that participants will gain knowledge and tools to advance collaborative decision making between Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments over shared lands, waters, and resources.

The course includes a total of five 10-15 minute modules including narration, slides, visuals, videos, and other interactive components.

The Collaborative Consent learning resource has been developed by the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) as part of its Collaborative Leadership Initiative.

The Collaborative Leadership Initiative (CLI), supported by BHP Foundation, is a facilitated process that provides resources and expertise to support Indigenous and municipal elected leaders as they find solutions to shared water challenges. The CLI has a track record that builds on successful approaches implemented in various jurisdictions, including the Northwest Territories, South Africa, and most recently, Manitoba in Canada.

Enroll here

Conservation International_creditPeter Oxford

Credit Peter Oxford for Conservation International

2. Dynamics of Community Consultation and Consent

This interactive learning resource is designed to explore the concepts of consultation and consent in natural resource management to understand what they mean in principle and practice.

Using a full database of over 200 articles about consultation and consent as case examples, the resource provides a comprehensive guide that defines an umbrella term for processes of meaningfully engaging with communities; identifies developments, challenges and opportunities in a range of industries and locations; and takes a deep look at the complexities facing Indigenous and local communities in the global energy transition.

The development of the Dynamics in Consultation and Consent resource is part of the Community-smart Consultation and Consent initiative implemented by Landesa, in partnership with RESOLVEConservation International, and the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM) at The University of Queensland.

Community Smart Consultation & Consent, funded by BHP Foundation, works on strengthening and scaling inclusive and effective natural resource governance by improving consultation and consent practices for the benefit of all stakeholders, including Indigenous peoples, local communities, civil society, government, and the private sector.

Navigate the resource here

3. Indigenous Governance Toolkit 

This downloadable online toolkit has been developed to help Indigenous organizations, communities, nations and individuals in Australia build, strengthen and evaluate their governance practices. 

Each of the toolkit’s nine sections focuses on a different aspect of governance. The resource is also equipped with a rich library of examples of successful governance from other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups providing an understanding of unique cultures, values, leadership styles, decision making practices, rules and memberships. 

The Indigenous Governance Toolkit is a public access resource published by the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute (AIGI), an independent, Indigenous-led centre that connects Indigenous Australians to world-class governance practice, resources and professional development to meet their self-determined governance needs. 

The Australian Indigenous Governance Institute (AIGI), in partnership with BHP Foundation, supports self-determined governance for Indigenous development outcomes through evidence-based tools, resources and a range of development, training and advisory offerings.  

Explore and tailor the toolkit here  


BHP Foundation supports projects taking action in Canada, Australia and around the world to enable positive change for Indigenous peoples by supporting self-determination, and the strengthening of governance and management of natural resources. Read more about our programs.  


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Natural Resource Governance Program

Harness the transformative power of natural resource wealth for sustainable and inclusive human development.

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Australia Program

To shape a more equitable and sustainable Australia through a focus on Indigenous self-determination and the wellbeing of children and young people.

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Canada Program

Harness the potential of young Indigenous people through improved education, learning and career pathway opportunities; and improving the governance and management of water resources to meet the needs of local communities.

Learn more