Statement to the Tasmanian Aboriginal peoples

from NRM North on behalf of the Northern NRM region of Tasmania

We acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal peoples are the Traditional Owners of the land that we live and work on. We respect and value the strong physical and spiritual links Aboriginal peoples have with Country and acknowledge their custodianship of the islands that make up Tasmania for over 1,600 generations (over 40,000 years).

The northern Tasmanian region contains globally significant living cultural landscapes. Aboriginal water, coast, marine and land-use practices (especially the use of fire) have shaped many of the patterns we see in the region’s natural landscapes. European settlement has resulted in considerable injustices for Aboriginal peoples, and the introduction of European land management practices has impacted both natural and cultural assets. This impact has left a legacy that we are all working to improve today.

NRM North acknowledges the need to increase consideration of Aboriginal cultural heritage and knowledge in natural resource management, and to develop a better understanding of the cultural, environmental, social and economic dimensions of the region’s natural resources from the perspective of Aboriginal peoples.

Our stakeholders and members of the wider community have articulated that they want the inclusion of Aboriginal heritage knowledge, protection, and conservation in natural resource management. They also want a commitment that elevates the capacity of Aboriginal people and Aboriginal heritage and cultural assets.

In response, NRM North encourages the inclusion of Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural heritage and knowledge in planning and the management of land, water, biodiversity, and coastal assets where possible. It also encourages the participation of Aboriginal people in the implementation of natural resource management activities. This will involve building relationships and mutual understanding, providing planning support, utilising, and respecting Aboriginal ecological and cultural knowledge, building natural resource management capacity, and delivering on-ground activities together.