IPA takes an­other step closer to re­al­ity

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

THE de­clared Eastern Kuku Yalanji In­dige­nous Pro­tected Area is a step closer in achiev­ing the ul­ti­mate goal for tra­di­tional own­ers to man­age and main­tain their own coun­try.

The ded­i­ca­tion of land cer­e­mony held last week in Cape Tribu­la­tion was ac­knowl­edg­ment of years of ne­go­ti­a­tions and plan­ning to pro­duce an IPA for the Ju­lun­ji­warra and Kuku Nyungkal peo­ple while the IPA for the Yalanji peo­ple is still be­ing com­pleted.

The move to an IPA started with the de­ter­mi­na­tion of na­tive ti­tle in 2007, which in­cluded 17 In­dige­nous Land Use Agree­ments (ILUA), with dif­fer­ent ar­eas be­ing main­tained by dif­fer­ent lev­els of govern­ment.

Ja­bal­bina Yalanji Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment co­or­di­na­tor Rowan Shee said the main is­sues raised by Yalanji peo­ple was that the ILUA, as part of the na­tive ti­tle, di­vided the coun­try up into dif­fer­ent zones, which is not how Yalanji per­ceive their land. Of that land, 75 per cent was national parks, main­tained by the State Govern­ment.

‘‘Be­cause of the dif­fer­ent agen­cies main­tain­ing the dif­fer­ent ar­eas, tra­di­tional own­ers were on the back foot of be­ing con­sulted with no say on what to do with our coun­try and our as­pi­ra­tions,’’ Mr Shee said.

‘‘The IPA man­ages the coun­try all to­gether in­cor­po­rat­ing cul­tural and nat­u­ral val­ues which can­not be sep­a­rated for Yalanji.

‘‘Tra­di­tional knowl­edge and sa­cred sites is just as much a pri­or­ity as par­tic­u­lar plant species.’’

The IPA gives an op­por­tu­nity for tra­di­tional own­ers to work with dif­fer­ent land man­agers such as National Parks and coun­cils to or­gan­ise co­op­er­a­tive man­age­ment ar­range­ments.

A fo­cus on con­ser­va­tion also fea­tures in the IPA with a new ranger base be­ing or­gan­ised in Wu­jal Wu­jal com­mu­nity to help tackle threats such a feral an­i­mals and weeds.

‘‘One thing peo­ple iden­ti­fied as a threat is not be­ing on coun­try - re­sources haven’t been there for Yalanji peo­ple to move in and build up the man­age­ment com­po­nent and ranger com­po­nent and the IPA is ful­fill­ing th­ese as­pi­ra­tions,’’ Mr Shee said.

‘‘Most of the IPA is ac­tu­ally sea coun­try, our ca­pac­ity is work­ing on land but we are go­ing to get a boat and ac­cred­i­ta­tion be­cause it is an as­pi­ra­tion of Yalanji peo­ple to man­age sea coun­try.’’

Ja­bal­bina Ranger co­or­di­na­tor Pat Min­niecon said the ranger pro­gram to be based in Wu­jal Wu­jal will have rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the three dif­fer­ent di­alect groups of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji.

‘‘The next step is we would like to see full man­age­ment for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple and this takes us one step closer to our ul­ti­mate goal for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple to man­age Abo­rig­i­nal land,’’ he said.

Mr Min­niecon said the IPA has raised the level of im­por­tance of cul­tural val­ues and in­ter­ests in the man­age­ment of the nat­u­ral re­sources.

‘‘Now we can look at pro­tect­ing the cul­tural her­itage of Yalanji peo­ple, cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant sites such as rat­tlesnake site, Snap­per Is­land, there are Dream­time sto­ries through­out this coun­try,’’ he said.

The vi­sion is to even­tu­ally have rangers lo­cated through­out the Eastern Kuku Yalanji land and de­velop ways to store cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant and his­tor­i­cal facts and arte­facts.

MAK­ING PROGRESS: The Eastern Kuku Yalangi In­dige­nous Pro­tec­tion Ar­eas

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.