Giving power back to elders
TRADITIONAL OWNERS TO PROVIDE VITAL CARE, MANAGEMENT OF COUNTRY AS PART OF NEW STRATEGY
A new strategic framework set to see the return of decision-making powers to traditional owners was launched last week by the Victorian Government.
The Victorian Traditional Owner and Cultural Landscape Strategy was written by traditional owners with the support of the Victorian Government and sets out a pathway back to self-determination and land management for Indigenous peoples.
The strategy involves partnering with traditional owners to incorporate cultural land and fire management practices.
Systemic barriers to selfdetermination will also be addressed as part of the framework. Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gabrielle Williams said the strategy was significant not just for its contents but also the involvement of traditional elders in the process.
‘‘Strategies like this one are so important, not just what they say but how they are created,’’ she said.
Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the strategy and its development was also in recognition of the impact European colonisation had had on traditional owner rights, including their ability to care for Country.
“We recognise the difficult and traumatic history First Nations people have experienced and are ensuring traditional owners have the power to make decisions about the care and management of Country in Victoria,” she said.
The 2021-22 Victorian budget provides $11 million to Traditional Owner Corporations to begin implementing the Cultural Landscape Strategy.
“We believe in selfdetermination and are proud to have worked in partnership with traditional owners on this strategy,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.