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Walking on country with spirits, Wet tropics, Australia

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Australia Shipton's Flat My name is Marilyn I am a Kuku Nyungkal woman. This place belongs to my father. mother and grandparents, and also to my great great grandparents. Living in this country is very good. The stream is running all the time and we can hear many different birds. The country around here is rainforest. This is the Nyungkal clan group's bubu (country). It's got plenty of meat, plenty of shade, and we are close to the water, a cool running stream. It is our sacred water. It is our spirit, a good spirit. Its is always runnning and very cool. The two of us are living here, no electricity, no town water we are living the ancestoral ways. I am very excited to be living on my country. The spirit of my father and mother, and the old people are living with me. We live here together on this country as one spirit. I am from here, I've come to see you, Jalkajaka, to see that things are untouched. To make sure no one has disturbed or damaged you. I am very proud to see you all, all my ancestors that have formed into rocks. This is our border boundary, the mountains and the rocks. Our family tribe comes from this area. and the river is our other boundary. Today, this place is changing, there is less food, and this season is getting very hot. We are always looking at the seaons, and the weather changing. We look for the indicators: the birds, the flowers and the animal's food. A long time ago at this place the water was running, and there was plenty of fish. But today it is drying up, the water is finishing. This bird, the Yindali (kingfisher) he feeds mainly from the sea. But now, he comes to the rainforest, because there is not much food on the coast for him. Today, this place has been destroyed by a mine, it was very beautiful before. The trees had been growing beautifully, before this mine happened. My mum's eldest sister and my great great grandfather were buried here. We must keep our animals- the birds and the wallaby away from here. and stop them drinking this bad water. Whitefella made this dam, and destroyed the land. I feel sad that this has happened to my families. We are frightened, very frightened. Our food is scarce, the food cycles are all shifting, and we don't know what will happen. Our food is disappearing, and our understanding of country is transforming. If our meat and other food sources climb up higher into the mountains, and into the cooler climates, they will disappear into the skies and we will starve. Our Bama (people) will be starving. There will be nothing left, because this place is getting hotter. Hello Bangkalgarran! We've come to visit you and to look around. He is our boss. We like him so much and he likes us so much. He gives us water to drink. We have an obligation to care for everything. All people must stand together. If we don't stand together and speak out, everything on our land will disappear. Our land, our people and our spirit will get sick if we don't all stand together. We're going back home now, we are glad to see that you are happy. O.K. Bioclimatic scientists are projecting temperature rises of 1.1-4 degree Celsius by 2070. In the Wet Tropics Region, a warming of 3.5 degrees would lead to a loss of approximately 65% of all endemic vertebrates species.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 37 seconds
Country: Australia
Language: English
Producer: United Nations University
Director: Paul Bell/Citt Williams
Views: 42
Posted by: unuchannel on Jan 4, 2010

Located on the eastern shore of Australias tropical north, Shiptons Flat is home to Marilyn, a Kuku Nyungkal Aboriginal woman, and her family. She has been living here the ancestral way far removed from the services and conveniences of modern life as part of the sublime performance of nature. Like her ancestors before her, Marilyn walks through the Nyungkal bubu, the Nyungkals country, acknowledging and conversing with the Spirit beings around her.

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