For First Nations People the land referred to as 'East Gippsland' is country that spans three indigenous nations, these are the nations of Bidewell, Yuin, Gunnaikurnai and Monero (Ngarigo). These nations never ceded sovereignty and continue their custodianship of the land and waters within East Gippsland.
Gunaikurnai Country & Culture
We respect that First Nations have different forms of expression, beliefs, knowledges, languages, customs,histories, lifestyles, Laws and protocols
We recognize ‘Intangible Heritage’ - oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledges & practices concerning nature & the universe. We support regeneration of knowledge and skills to produce traditional stories, beliefs, crafts, food & medicine heritage, designs & digital heritage.
UNESCO 2003, ‘Convention for the Safeguarding of the
Intangible Cultural Heritage’
The Gunaikurnai Whole of Country Plan captures the vision of the Gunaikurnai community & the role of First Nations culture as the most relevant & powerful aspect of regional identity. Aboriginal cultural heritage includes:
• tangible values such as places, objects, landscapes, archaeological sites, past land-uses & industries, & built structures; &
• intangible values like song-lines, music, drama, skills, crafts, cultural practices & the other parts of culture that can be recorded but cannot be touched; that are of aesthetic, historic, scientific, social or spiritual value for past, present or future generations.
Snake by Ray Thomas. Gunai Artist. We thank Ray for his generosity in allowing us to use his beautiful images.
Cultural Values: Principles for Engaging with First Nations Communities
Recognition of First Nations worldviews within which Indigenous knowledge and realities are distinctive and fundamental
Honoring First Nations social customs as essential processes through which they live, learn and situate themselves
Emphasis on the social, historical and political contexts which shape Indigenous peoples’ lives, experiences and futures
Privileging the voices, experiences and lives of First Nations people and lands
Including and consulting with First Nations peoples, as full participants
Sharing and protecting knowledge
Using appropriate language and processes
Cultural Values: An Approach for Engaging with Country by YuinWoman, Danièle Hromek