“This country is strong and will remain strong for us. It is alive in spirit. Country always welcomes us and reminds us that we are family. We have the responsibility to look after our father’s and mother’s country by following the Law. We don’t make the Law; our Law is handed down from generation to generation. Country is there for us to live on and use and we are there for it. It’s a strong belief that we should hunt and look around country, walk on the same ground and remember it. This country is us … we love this country. We were born and grew up in this country. We were taught on country and we want to teach our young ones too. When we pass on, our children can hold country strong, like we do now.”
Ngurra nyampuju pirrjirdi manu kapu tarnngajuku nguna pirrjirdijiki nganimpakuju. Pirlirrpa wankaru. Ngurungku kanganpa yajarni manu kagalpa yuka puntu warlalja. Ngula kapu-narlu mardarni kirdana manu ngati nyanu kulangu nguru kuruwarrikirli. Kuruwarri nganimpa nyangu ngurlaju tarnngajuku nyurru-warnu. Nguru ngalaju palka ka karrimi/ngunami ngalipakuju, palka karliparla nyina nguru nyampukuju. Pirrjirdirli yijardurlu kajilipa nguru warra-warra-kanyi, kajirlipa ngurungka wapa manu kajirlipa milya-pinyi tarnngajuku. Yurlka karliparla nguruku. Palka jarrijarlipa manurlupa wiri-jarrija nguru nyampurla, pina-jarrijarlipa manu. Kajirlipa-jana Jalangu-warnu pinarri-mani yijala, kajilipa walku-jarri kapurlu kurdukurdulu ngalipa-nyangurlu nguru mardarni pirrjirdi nagalipa-piyarlu.
(Statement by Warlpiri traditional owners, translated into English by Valerie Napanangka Patterson and Annette Nampijinpa Patrick)
Tomorrow is the start of National Reconciliation Week, from 27 May to 3 June. These dates mark two milestones in Australia’s reconciliation journey: The 1967 referendum and the historic Mabo decision which gave Indigenous people access to their country. This year, 2017, it will have been 50 years since the 1967 referendum, and 25 years since the Mabo decision. Kurdiji 1.0 Aboriginal suicide prevention app aims to reconnect young people, who have been cut off from culture, community and country by past Australian policies. You can support this community initiative by donating at http://www.kurdijiproject.com and sharing the campaign.