First Nations - Protect Our Winters Australia

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First Nations

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The Australian Alps have great significance to Indigenous Australians, particularly as a site for annual celebrations across many nations. First Nations have a spiritual connection to the unique flora, fauna, water, and land of the Australian Alps.

Despite recognition of the significance of the alps to First Nations, there is little research as to what the possible impacts of climate change will be for First Nations and their connection to Country.

First Nations in the Australian Alps have been extensively dispossessed. It is only recently that First Nations voices have been included in decision-making and management of the Australian Alps.

Section Contents

  • The significance of the Australian Alps to First Nations
  • First Nations governance
  • Impact of Climate Change

Summary

Although there is a growing body of research about the significance of the Australian Alps to First Nations, there is little work done on how climate change will impact First Nations and their relationship to Country. Some adaptation options that might preserve values for non-Indigenous people may not preserve First Nations’ values. For example, in theory, threatened high country species could be relocated to similar high country regions in Tasmania to increase their chance of survival in a changing climate.

However, this may not protect connection to Country for First Nations in the Australian Alps or Tasmania. It is important that researchers, natural resource managers, and governments work with First Nations to determine what the impacts of climate change will be for First Nations in the Alps and what the best adaptation responses might be to preserve First Nation values.

Recommendations

Further empower First Nations in the decision making and management of the Australian Alps. Expanding Indigenous ranger programs is a key opportunity.

Researchers, natural resource managers, and governments need to work with First Nations to determine what the impacts of climate change will be for First Nations in the Alps and what the best adaptation responses might be to conserve First Nations’ values.

Download this section

This page is a summary of the ‘First Nations’ section from the report Our Changing Snowscapes: Climate Change Impacts and Recommendations for the Australian Alps.

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POW Australia is a non-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers. We are investing on behalf of our community to fight for the places you love and protect our alpine environments. We need your support to keep pushing and protecting winters in Australia.

Protect Our Winters Australia acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land upon which we live, work and play. We pay respects to the Elders, past, present and future, across the many Nations. Their ancestral ties to country have never been extinguished, and sovereignty never ceded.

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