The Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation uses the term ‘cultural burning’ to describe burning practices developed by Aboriginal people to enhance the health of the land and its people. Cultural burning can include burning or prevention of burning of Country for the health of particular plants and animals such as native grasses, emu, black grevillea, potoroo, bushfoods, threatened species or biodiversity in general. It may involve patch burning to create different fire intervals across the landscape or it could be used for fuel and hazard reduction. Fire may be used to gain better access to Country, to clean up important pathways, maintain cultural responsibilities and as part of culture heritage management. It is ceremony to welcome people to Country or it could also be as simple as a campfire around which people gather to share, learn, and celebrate.
Across different communities and lands the following are key considerations:
- Ensure the right people are involved in planning and implementing fire based on their cultural connections to the land.
- Teaching young people and passing down knowledge.
- Being on Country, learning by observation and sharing.
- Embedding cultural connection within contemporary natural resource management practices.
- Implementing good training, strong partnerships, on ground practices and appropriate techniques.