Embed Indigenous wisdom

Learn about healing Country and Indigenous knowledge in land care management

For Aboriginal people, people, culture, nature and land are all interconnected and each group of people’s culture, traditions and laws are unique. To heal Country we must understand our place, our roles and responsibilities in it.

The resources on this page have been put together by Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators from Culture is Life for an Australian context. We encourage you to connect with and educate yourself with resources published by the First Nations leaders, community members and groups in your local area. If you have any resources to share, please reach out and we will add them to the platform.

In order to protect our lands in waterways we must have a firm knowledge and understanding of the traditional lands that we are on. Connect and learn from the First Nations people who have been the caretakers and respectful custodians of the lands for millenia. With a collective sense of custodianship we can all work together to serve and protect all living beings.

Supporting the effort is a step towards amplifying and embedding the voices we need to be listening to.

Here’s where to start:

It is important to firstly acknowledge that there is no one simple solution to supporting the Indigenous land care management. The below actions and guidelines were developed by a collective of First Nations people as a first step and guide only. We encourage ongoing learning and respect the work of many before us in offering some ways forward.

Before we can take action, here are some ways we can deepen our respect and understanding of First Nations people, cultures and place and strengthen an authentic connection, appreciation & understanding of what we are here to respect and protect.

  1. Connect to your own story
  • Connect with your own ancestral story, where you came from and your ancestors journey, if you can find out.
  • Reflect on your own experiences and interactions on this land and the experiences of your ancestors before you.
  • Understand your own role, place and connection to the lands that you are on

2. Connect to Country

  • Expand your awareness of Country, from an Aboriginal perspective, as being all living spirits that live on and form our lands, waterways and sky country.
  • Understand the concept of custodianship, and that we may not be traditional custodians, but we all have a collective responsibility to respect and protect Country.
  • Deepen your value and respect of First Peoples knowledge, cultures, histories and peoples are critical to our futures. The below quote from Uncle Tom Calma encourages us to reflect on the treatment of First of Peoples globally and how without adequate healing and progress, the experience of every person to the nation will be reflective of this.

‘The maturity of a nation is reflective of its relationship with it’s first peoples’ - Uncle Tom Calma.

3. Engage with your local Aboriginal community

Below are some ways that you can connect with your local Aboriginal community, to gain a deeper understanding of the Country you are on, its peoples, cultures and what we can learn to serve and care for Country.

  • Connect with your local Aboriginal community members in your neighbourhood, school, community or workplaces. Start with your immediate environment in creating authentic personal connections and relationships with the people and places around you.
  • Engage with your local Landcare Councils & Aboriginal Corporations in your area. This can be through attending events, finding out about their work and programs, investing in Welcome to Country’s and local speakers, dance or music groups at your events or education settings.

Note that every landcare council and corporation is unique. There may be opportunities to donate or volunteer for organisations or initiatives specific to your area. Find your local land councils and corporations to connect with.

Remember that you can connect and acknowledge the Country that you are on everyday. Every day we wake up and walk, live and breathe on sacred Aboriginal lands. Take time to connect, learn from and appreciate the Country around you.

4. Listen & learn through story

The sharing of stories and knowledge have been passed down to generations orally for tens of thousands of years. This cultural practice of learning can be shared with all people and has deep benefits of listening and respecting Elders, seniors and others who share their wisdom. Stories keep culture alive and we encourage you to sit and listen whenever you can. We learn best when we are present and ready to sit, listen and engage in a safe environment.

  • Start by sitting and listening to Country
  • Sit and listen to the community around you, particularly local Aboriginal people if you are able to.
  • Encourage yarning circles, even informally, so we can share stories and learn from others face to face in a safe space.
  • We can also learn by listening to videos and audios. There are many incredible Aboriginal led and focused tv series, documentaries, films, books and podcasts we can listen and learn from.

Below are some ways we can better educate ourselves before choosing to take action on supporting Indigenous land care management below.

We encourage you to do your own research and educate yourself on topics of Indigenous knowledges and land care:

Some questions to consider:

  • What does Country mean for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People?
  • What is the meaning of custodianship?
  • How have First Nations peoples cared and protected for Country for tens of thousands of years?
  • How are we all custodians of the lands that we are on?
  • How are roles and responsibilities for land care management perceived and shared from both an Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspective?
  • What colonial systems and structures have led to the loss of cultural practices, understanding of Country, knowledge and protection of Country?
  • What practices exist today that harm Country?
  • How can we collectively heal Country? Why is this important?
  • What are some ways that you can care and protect for Country everyday?
  • What initiatives exist in your community that support caring for Country?
  • What would you like to see in your immediate community to care for Country?
  • Where are resources and funding needed to protect Country for our future generations?

Here are some ways you can support First Nations landcare management and caring for Country to benefit all peoples

Native foods & plant medicine

  • IndigiGrow is a social enterprise from First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation. It sustains people, land and culture through the propagation of native plants, including bush foods and the critically endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS). IndigiGrow is 100% Aboriginal owned and operated and employs 7 Aboriginal apprentices.
  • Volunteer or Donate

  • Warndu curates Australian Native Food Experiences. Warndu is an Indigenous owned company which means good in the Adnyamathanha language. Learn about, and how to grow, native foods, find recipes and sign up to get their free that will help you understand exactly what common ingredients you can start swapping out for natives.


Learn from local traditional custodians about food sources, seasons and local Country through cultural walks, tours and workshops.

Some Aboriginal owned and led services can be search on Welcome to Country website - a not for profit marketplace for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experiences and products

Buy native foods and ingredients from

  • First Nation Foods, an 100% Aboriginal owned and operated wholesale food supplier.
  • IndigiEarth - Founded by Sharon Winsor, a Ngemba Weilwan woman from Western NSW, Indigiearth
  • TheDreamingFoodGroup - a third of the profits of the Group are donated to The Dreaming Foundation whose purpose is to holistically look at the Close the Gap social outcomes and provide direct funding to Aboriginal led organisations to deliver programs and initiatives which Close the Gap.

Support/Donate to organisations protecting and caring of Country

  • Donate to SEED Mob, Australia’s first Indigenous youth climate network, building a movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people for climate justice.
  • Firesticks Alliance - Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation is an Indigenous led network and aims to reinvigorate the use of cultural burning by facilitating cultural learning pathways to fire and land management. It is an initiative for Indigenous and non- Indigenous people to look after Country, share their experiences and collectively explore ways to achieve their goals.
  • Donate to Wattarka Foundation, who through consultation and engagement with the community, delivering a wide range of projects in NT communities.
  • Indigenous Ranger Program - Indigenous ranger projects were first funded in 2007 through the former Working on Country program. The program has created more than 2,100 full-time, part-time and casual jobs in land and sea management around the country, providing meaningful employment, training and career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
  • Explore our local CFA & RFS programs and initiatives with strong Indigenous engagement with local owners and Aboriginal communities.


Promote educational resources that encourage a sense of connections and understanding of Country for our young people, staff, teachers and school communities.

  • Nurragunalawalli Early Learning - Caring for Country
  • Culture is Life Educational Resources - Back to Nature Resources
  • CSIRO Seasonal Calendars - CSIRO worked with a range of Indigenous language groups to develop a series of calendars representing seasonal ecological knowledge. Six of the calendars were developed as part of the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge program, two as part of an Inspiring Australia Unlocking Australia's Potential grant, two as part of the National Environmental Research Program's Northern Australia Hub, and one as part of CSIRO's Indigenous Livelihoods project.
  • Sign the petition to brings more First Nations educators into schools at Know your Country

Learn more about caring for Country and Indigenous land Care Management

Learning about healing country - Indigenous knowledge in land care management - is part of a larger collective response. Click here to learn more about embedding Indigenous wisdom.

Know of any other groups or resources? Share your ideas.