Burning Country: Aboriginal fire practice in Caring for Country

Wednesday 13 October 2021, noon Sydney time
Duration: 75-90 minutes

In light of the massive bushfires that we have experienced over recent years both here in Australia and globally, it seems appropriate that we consider the role of burning in caring for, managing, nurturing and sustaining country to maintain its health and resilience, and its capacity to resist and recover from wildfires brought about by climate change and poor land management.

Indigenous fire practice is a key aspect of caring for country and very important to maintaining cultural connections to place. In the face of climate change and other threats, caring for country practices, including fire practice, contain answers to the healing damaged landscapes and addressing climate change. Through community engagement and empowerment, burning country can also provide Aboriginal communities with economic opportunities.

NAILSMA is a major landowner in the Northern Territory of Australia, where burning of savannah country is used to generate carbon credits and provide economic benefits to the community. Ricky Archer will discuss how, while the application of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) provides solutions and opportunities, barriers remain. In 2020, NAILSMA partnered with the CSIRO in the publication of the Our Knowledge our Way Guidelines for meaningful and respectful engagement between non-Indigenous researchers and Indigenous communities involved in research projects.

Victor Steffensen, author of the book Fire Country, will describe his experience of learning about fire from elders on his country in northern Queensland, the importance of understanding and ‘reading’ the country, the importance of passing knowledge on to communities, the importance of implementing knowledge via action, and the benefits to the community of participating in that action.

Please register at: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2-4e2KuZQcCpLIpZv87GAg