The concept of policy ‘success’ has been subject to much contestation. In the Indigenous higher education setting, Indigenous (and non-Indigenous) scholars have brought attention to the relevance of experiential knowledge to understanding the effects of power and race on policy, including how success is theorised. This paper aims to interrogate the notion of policy success by exploring how Indigenous users of higher education policy in the Northern Territory (NT), Australia, conceive the term ‘success’. We conducted semi-structured interviews with twelve (n = 12) Indigenous people with expertise in NT Indigenous higher education policy. Our findings highlight that while some of our participant’s conceptions of policy success align to those within current policy frameworks, there are also differences due to power and race relations. We reflect on the impact on policy outcomes, and discuss how a critical understanding of such relations can advance Indigenous higher education policy in the NT.