All Indigenous Communities/organisations are invited to participate in the Cultural Fire Credit initiative. The pathway to participation – Activated Pathway or Preparing Pathway – will depend on your Community/organisation’s experience level.
All Indigenous Communities/Organisations interested supplying Cultural Fire Credits need to complete this Expression of Interest (EOI) form. This involves answering a series of questions related to the four key supply principles (outlined below) to determine what pathway a community can take to supply Cultural Fire Credits.
Everyone can participate. Even if your Indigenous Community/Organisation does not have much experience with Cultural Fire, please still complete the EOI form to the best of your ability. This will help Firesticks to determine how best to support you to achieve your aspirations to use fire to care for your Country.
More information about the Supply Principles, Activated and Preparing Pathways can be found below.
There are four key principles that all communities/ organisations and practitioners supplying Cultural Fire Credits need to meet. At their core, these principles are about respect and appreciation of ongoing learning.
Principle 1: Experience and governance
Communities need to be supported by organisations that have a strong governance structure in place to provide support to implement cultural burning. Organisations need to be able to demonstrate good governance and sound financial management. Governance structures need to recognise the need to have Elders and children on country with them when planning for and/or implementing cultural burns.
Principle 2: Tools, equipment, and mentorship
Communities need appropriate infrastructure (PPE, vehicles, etc.) relevant to the needs of the Firesticks Activated and/or Preparing pathways for supplying Cultural Fire Credits. Communities are encouraged to mentor and work together with other communities to meet these needs.
Principle 3: Agreements and protocols
Communities need to have agreements (e.g. memorandum of understanding) in place regarding tenure of and access to land for the areas where Cultural Fire Credits are to be generated; financial management; fire plans and permits; and relevant insurance. They must also agree to undertake ongoing self-led monitoring and peer verification.
Principle 4: Demonstrated experience in burning and monitoring outcomes (Knowledge)
Communities need to have qualified people with demonstrated experience and knowledge to conduct burns. Organisations and practitioners generating Cultural Fire Credits need to have completed the Firesticks Mentoring Program on Country over a season and demonstrate that they meet these principles and/or are undertaking the Firesticks Mentoring Program. In short, Indigenous communities and practitioners need to demonstrate that they have the knowledge to implement cultural burns on country. Organisations need to continue to demonstrate capacity to meet these principles. This will be verified at 18 months then every third year thereafter provided sufficient credits continue to be allocated to projects.
If your community/organisation is already highly experienced and meets the Cultural Fire Credit supply principles outlined above, you are ready to sell Cultural Fire Credits to plan and implement specific work programs putting cultural fire on Country. This is known as the Activated Pathway.
Communities that have met the supply principles determine what their projects will look like and submit project plans annually. Project plans outline what communities would like to do if they are able to access Cultural Fire Credits, and how much investment they expect to require across the following 1–3 years.
The supply principles will need be maintained and periodically verified in order for the community to continue to generate credits. Verification will occur in the first year of the project and, for multi-year projects, again in the third year.
Preparing Pathway through the Firesticks Mentoring Program
If your Community/organisation is newer to cultural fire practice, you progress along the Preparing Pathway. This will include involvement in the Firesticks Mentoring Program, which comprises four on-Country workshops over a season, tailored to community and Country needs. The Preparing pathway does deliver burns, but for mentoring and learning purposes.
Firesticks Mentoring mob-to-mob approach and on-Country transfer of shared knowledge principles, together with workshops, follow an ancient approach to teaching and learning. Workshops on Country are helping to build a community of professional Indigenous fire knowledge practitioners across Australia to secure the future of Indigenous-led fire knowledge systems and deliver cultural fire at landscape scale.
Where communities are still building their capacities, Cultural Fire Credits can fund the Firesticks Mentoring Program. The Firesticks Mentorship Program provides mentorship to Indigenous communities in the identification of different Country types across a season on their Country. The process involves Elders, knowledge holders, and the younger generation in the mentorship and learning every step of the way