There is extraordinary teaching about the earth that is needed, a way of knowing that erases the separation between people and nature, a disconnection that has caused the climate crisis. The knowledge required is already here.
This response also requires us to support efforts to restore cultures that are being subjected to racism, that have suffered trauma, that wish to revive their language and reclaim their sovereignty where it has been violated.
Why do we need to embed Indigenous wisdom?
Indigenous people thrived on land and sea for thousands of years because of intimate knowledge of weather, botany, animals, migrations, medicines, food, forests and the ocean. They practice observational science, discoveries about the natural world gleaned over millennia, etched into metaphor, and conveyed through stories, art and ritual passed down in unbroken oral traditions. Indigenous nations experienced intense war and conflict before European arrival, and from these crucibles developed advanced mechanisms of peace and coexistence. Worldwide Indigenous people steward about one-fourth of the world’s landmass and are struggling to save their traditional lands from exploitation and species extinction.
How are others approaching this?
There are many ways that people around the world are attempting to embed Indigenous wisdom. Below is a small sample. If you have any further examples that you think should be on this list, please get in touch.
First Nation’s Voice to Parliament
The regeneration of Australia, and many other countries, can only occur with acknowledgement and recognition of sovereignty for First Nations people. A significant step in this journey for Australia would be enacting a Voice to Parliament; this would be a representative body giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders a say in law and policy affecting them. Enshrined in the constitution, this body would become an institution of lasting significance for First Nations and all Australians.
First Nation’s Learning and Culture Centres
Regeneration is about place; deeply connecting with and understanding the unique flora, fauna and history of that place. How can we authentically regenerate if we don’t know what came before? First Nation’s Learning and Culture centres already exist in some parts of Australia. They provide spaces to educate and to create relationships of healing for both people and Country.
Fire can either destroy or regenerate a landscape. Indigenous people have used fire for thousands of years to cultivate abundant, productive forests and grasslands. The use of well-timed, low-intensity fires can remove underbrush and regenerate grasses and perennials. In northern Australia, wildfires have been halved due to Indigenous fire ecology practices.
Aboriginal bush foods
Bush foods are a deep part of Indigenous stories and connection to land. The industry is booming, yet a very small percentage of growers and suppliers are Indigenous people. Many believe that bush foods can be a key driver of reconciliation for many countries. In a changing climate, native foods are going to be essential - as is the wisdom acquired from those who have been growing the foods for thousands of years.
Some of these solutions are featured in our short film - Regenerate Australia. Find out where you can see the film.
Regenerative actions for you to implement
We believe every one of us has a role to play in Regeneration. If you are interested in helping embed Indigenous wisdom, here are some actions we have identified that you could take on in your life.
We will be adding more actions so please come back again soon