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Caring for Aboriginal Culture

Alexandrina Council Local Government area is situated largely within Ngarrindjeri traditional lands.

Alexandrina Council acknowledges and respects their Traditional Ownership, and their rights, interests and obligations to speak and care for their traditional lands and waters in accordance with their laws, customs, beliefs and traditions.

The Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth region and surrounding areas are Ngarrindjeri Yarluwar-Ruwe (Sea Country - all lands and waters ). The Ngarrindjeri have cared for their Ruwe for thousands of years by adhering to and respecting the laws and traditions passed on by Ngarrindjeri Creation Ancestors and the Old People. These laws and traditions are reflected in the Vision Statement and Goals of the Ngarrindjeri Nation Yarluwar-Ruwe Plan: Caring for our Sea Country and Culture (2006) and the goals of the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority. More recently Ngarrindjeri have been actively involved in environmental conservation efforts in response to drought and over-allocation of water. 

Elder major sumner

Indigenous Australian philosophies of being are based on an interconnection between country, body and spirit. This interconnection is fundamental to wellbeing. The Ngarrindjeri Nation in southern South Australia uses the term Ruwe/Ruwar to encapsulate this concept and argue healthy lands and waters are critical to healthy Ngarrindjeri People and culture. Ngarrindjeri have the responsibility to care for Ruwe/Ruwar.
Quote: Ngarrindjeri Ratalang Cultural Heritage Plan

In 2002, Alexandrina Council and the Ngarrindjeri entered into a Kungun Ngarrindjeri Yunnan (Listen to Ngarrindjeri People Talking) Agreement. The KNY Agreement was the first of its type entered into by the Ngarrindjeri Nation and any level of government. The KNYA was the first of this type of agreement between the Ngarrindjeri Nation and any level of Government. This has been the basis of a strong relationship between both parties with quarterly Leader to Leader meetings and bi-monthly working group meetings ensuring that Ngarrindjeri rights and interests are recognised and embedded in Council policy and planning. The recent publication of the Ngarrindjeri Ratalang (Bashams Beach) Cultural Heritage Management Plan is another milestone in this relationship with the inclusion of Ngarrindjeri cultural knowledge and Ngarrindjeri heritage risk mitigation processes in the management of Ratalang (Bashams Beach) Regional Park.

Alexandrina Council remains committed to the principles and values of the KNY agreement and to the protection of areas of cultural significance to the Ngarrindjeri Nation. And we recognise that Council’s natural resource management and other activities will be enhanced through the engagement and participation of Ngarrindjeri. 

For more information visit Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority 

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