Earth Day and our First Nation's People

In case you haven't heard, it was Earth Day on Monday, an international day aimed at raising awareness of worldwide events held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. 

Indigenous Australian culture dates back literally to the beginning of human history, so needless to say, their connection to the land is ancient and profound.

Larissa Behrendt writes "Land is of great significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - but the connection we feel to country can be a difficult concept for non-Indigenous people to grasp."


The living environment goes beyond physical elements, and is fundamental to our identity. 

 

This connection holds and deep respect, and this respect still continues as several First Nations youth groups stand on the front line of the fight for climate justice in modern Australia, such as Seed - Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network (pictured below).

On my quest to find out more about this topic, I stumbled across an excellent online resource called Common Ground, founded by Rona Glynn McDonald. Rona is a proud Kaytetye woman, with a background in economics and a passion for disruptive ideas. She writes: 


When people talk about country it is spoken of like a person: we speak to country, we sing to country, we worry about country, and we long for country.

 

"For First Australians, “country” encompasses an interdependent relationship between an individual and their ancestral lands and seas. This reciprocal relationship between the land and people is sustained by the environment and cultural knowledge."

If you'd like to learn more about First Nations People and their past and present history, head over and check out www.commonground.org.au

So, what does International Earth Day mean to you? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Photo credits Millie Brown and Jeff Tan


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