Participatory design prioritises the agency of those who will be most affected by design outcomes. However in cross cultural innovation involving indigenous and non-indigenous communities there is much work to do to develop the cross cultural innovation practices that can best bring together different skills, perspectives and ways of knowing in order to realise the aspirations of indigenous peoples. In this short paper we outline a work-inprogress method based upon relationship development and reciprocity over practical, tangible and culturally appropriate activities. We argue that in a cross-cultural setting the participatory innovation process must be part of a larger relationship building process.\ud \ud The paper centres around a proposed design project with a remote indigenous community on the Groote Eylandt archipelago. A project proposal has evolved from a relationship built through ecological work between scientists and the local community to study native populations of animal species. We describe the context and history and our proposed approach to engaging indigenous knowledge in design
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