Yapa Values

Our Way

Added by Central Land Council

Description In the past, before kardiya came to Australia, yapa looked after their country well. They walked over the country, they knew all the plants and animals, they knew their Jukurrpa (Dreaming) and they knew the Milarpa. They knew their country and the country knew them. They sang for country, danced for country, they burnt country to keep it healthy. They kept their country strong yapa way. Yapa looked after country and country looked after them.
Today Yapa knowledge and laws about country are still there, but young people are starting to forget about this knowledge and laws, they are forgetting about their culture. We are worrying that the country is going down (declining) in health. It is getting less healthy because people are forgetting their culture. People don’t visit their country to look after it much anymore. Young people and even middle-aged people, they don’t know country like old people do. They know their Jukurrpa only a little bit, they don’t know Yapa names for plants and animals or the Yapa ways to look after country or laws for how to do this properly.
We need to keep country strong yapa way. We need to go out on country more and look after it. Young people and old people need to go together, so young people can learn more about country from old people, before it is too late. This knowledge of how to look after country Yapa way is already starting to die out. We need to keep it going to be able to look after our country.
Northern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) committee members directed the CLC to re-imagine their IPA Plan of Management, an English-heavy guide book for looking after the IPA. The brief was to create a lush digital resource using spoken Warlpiri that could be accessed both online and offline to mirror the content of the management plan and be navigated through voice commands. The CLC’s hope is that the IPA digital storybooks will help all Warlpiri – from elders to school children – to better understand and support the work to keep country healthy and culture strong. The CLC has made digital storybooks for both the Southern Tanami and the Northern Tanami IPAs. See www.ngurra.org and www.walyalku.org.au

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