Capital Nordic Walking acknowledges the Ngunnawal people – who are the first inhabitants and Traditional Custodians of the incredible lands where we are privileged to walk, enjoy, and take peace and healing from. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of ‘Australia’ are the oldest living culture on earth, have the oldest continuing land tenure and land use, planning and management systems in the world – which we continue to benefit from. We also acknowledge that mainland ‘Australia’ is comprised of over 250 Aboriginal nations, each diverse with their own language, culture, customs, and communities.
We deeply respect First Nation’s people’s laws, knowledge, culture, and traditions – which are gifts to all people who are lucky enough to pass through this incredible country. We acknowledge and appreciate your deep cultural interest in conservation, water and fire management and understand that looking after Country has involved maintaining a balanced physical, social and spiritual environment and contributing to the continuity and renewal of complex relationships between people and the environment. Capital Nordic Walkers are deeply grateful for your efforts, over thousands of years, to care for this place, and tread carefully wherever we go. We note that Aboriginal cultural heritage is rightly recognised and protected in the Australian Capital Territory. The ACT’s Heritage Register lists 75 Aboriginal places and objects, including information on 2,930 sites. We are aware of the important measures taken to identify and protect cultural sites and to prevent the loss and damage of Ngunnawal heritage and that there are strict legal consequences for damage to Aboriginal heritage.
Capital Nordic Walking acknowledges that Ngunnawal people, and all First Nations people, have suffered the indignity of having their land taken from them without free, prior, and informed consent, often in brutal and in-humane ways, without treaty and without compensation on just terms. We feel deep pain and shame for this unacceptable dispossession and failure to address it. We commit to always acknowledging and remembering the immeasurable contributions that Ngunnawal people, as the first inhabitants and original Custodians of this land, have made, as we wander through our region. We will strive to continually learn more and more about your culture and lessons so that we might continue the profound and important work that you have undertaken for more than 20,000 years, and in a small way contribute to the preservation of your rich culture, and the telling and sharing of true history. As such Capital Nordic Walking also commits to spreading the message of the Uluru Statement and encourage other Australians to accept the invitation to walk together for a better future by establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament protected by the Constitution and a Makarrata Commission to supervise agreement-making (treaty) and truth-telling.
Dhjan Yimaba, with yindumara [Thank you, with deep respect]