For tens of thousands of years, First Nations peoples have cared for Country and kept rivers and waterways healthy and flowing. But since colonisation, decades of mismanagement, overextraction and climate change have left the lifeblood of this country polluted, diverted, and dried up.
The state of Australia’s rivers and waterways is not just an environmental crisis – it is an enormous injustice to First Nations people who have cared for Country for at least 65,000 years and who rely on healthy water flowing for healthy people and culture.
First Nations communities along the Murray-Darling Basin have developed a new concept of water management called ‘cultural flows’ that will not only restore life to Country but also justice to First Nations communities.
Cultural flows return water and its rights and management to Traditional Owners to improve the spiritual, cultural, natural, environmental, social and economic conditions of their Nations.
At Margooya Lagoon or Tol Tol, Tati Tati Elders are establishing a model that will identify how to turn the concept of cultural flows into a practical reality.
Their hope is that this model can return healthy flows to Tati Tati Country and also provide a template for other First Nations communities seeking water justice.