The Nulungu Research Papers series provides an avenue for Aboriginal people and collaborators working in the Kimberley region of Western Australia with an opportunity to publicly inform, discuss and present their activities and research. Publishing original works pertaining to the breadth of issues Aboriginal people face in the region, Nulungu Research Papers offers academics a place to communicate their endeavours which are guided by the Nulungu Way - respecting the traditions of the past that underpin contemporary community actions to create a better future for the people of the Kimberley and beyond. Contributions are peer reviewed, and are aimed at audiences within the community, organisations or government networks.
Artwork: Seeing Country by Nyapuru Laurel
I am a Karajarri woman and one of the Traditional Owners of Karajarri Country. I come from Bidyadanga Aboriginal Community which is on Karajarri Country, approximately 190 km south of the township of Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. I am a linguist, interpreter and researcher at the Nulungu Research Institute, located on the Broome campus of the University of Notre Dame Australia, on Yawuru Country. I am often required to bring together traditional knowledge and Western rationalist approaches to knowledge generation in my research endeavours. The aim of the project described in this paper was to explore people’s concerns around climate change on Karajarri Country. It reflects on my cultural background, knowledge, traditional language and beliefs concerning changes to Country caused by changing climate. It also includes the ways my people adapt to changes to Country. During the research, Karajarri People talked about the importance of culture and heritage, and the importance of protecting Karajarri ‘Pukarrikarra’ (dreaming) places from changes to the land and waters. The importance and connectedness of language to Country is highlighted, and the significance and value of Country is demonstrated through our spiritual understandings and cultural practices, especially around climate change on Karajarri Country.