Indigenous ecological knowledge is kept alive through new language exchanges

A project celebrating Indigenous scientific knowledge that has added 2,500 indigenous plant and animal names to the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) was launched today at Ngukurr Primary School in south-east Australia. Arnhem Land.

ALA, hosted by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, worked with Yugul Mangi Rangers in southeast Arnhem Land and Macquarie University on the project, adding language words in eight local languages ​​and descriptions for 295 species at ALA.

Nat Raisbeck-Brown, ALA’s Indigenous Ecological Knowledge (IEK) program manager, said the new Indigenous names and transcriptions would increase data accessibility and strengthen researchers’ and Australians’ connection to knowledge and language. traditional owners.

“This project is a wonderful celebration of Indigenous scientific knowledge, highlighting the importance of early Australian scientists in understanding biodiversity and supporting biodiversity management and conservation efforts,” said Ms Raisbeck-Brown.

“The newly updated species names are now searchable in the ALA, both by their native language name and by their Western names (Latin and common). By having detectable species names in Indigenous languages, we benefit and encourage more Indigenous content to be contributed to the project,” she said.

The project celebrates the Kriol, Marra, Ritharrηu/Wӓgliak, Ngandi, Wubuy, Ngalakgan, Alawa and Rembarrnga languages ​​which are now included in the ALA.

Yugul Mangi’s assistant ranger coordinator, Julie Roy, who speaks the Ngalakgan and Ngandi languages, said the work not only provides shared scientific benefits, but also helps keep local languages ​​alive.

“It was very interesting for me to learn both the scientific names and the local language names for the species and it is also good for the children to be able to research these species online to learn more about the local languages. “said Ms. Roy.

In 2020, the Ngukurr Language Center published this knowledge in a book called The Cross-cultural guide to some animals and plants of South East Arnhem Land.

Emilie Ens, project manager at Macquarie University, said working with local communities reinforced First Nations peoples’ longstanding traditions and knowledge of effective environmental management.

“This knowledge, often encoded in language, is an important part of Australia’s natural and cultural heritage,” Ms Ens said.

“By presenting these names and knowledge in the ALA, we recognize the deep traditions of Australia’s First Nations peoples that are long overdue but increasingly seen as essential to the effective management of Australian environments” , she said.

ALA’s IEK Project is a collaborative effort with traditional owners across Australia to preserve and provide access to Indigenous cultural and environmental knowledge and language.

ALA, Australia’s National Biodiversity Data Infrastructure, is funded by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) and hosted by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO.

/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author or authors. See in full here.

Related Article

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button