Indigenous cultural sites many thousands of years old will be mapped using twenty-first century technology, Natural Resources Minister Craig Wallace said today. Rangers from the Yalanji people are training with global positioning systems (GPS) to help map their cultural heritage sites on traditional lands between Mossman and Cooktown.
(PressZoom) - Indigenous cultural sites many thousands of years old will be mapped using twenty-first century technology, Natural Resources Minister Craig Wallace said today.
Rangers from the Yalanji people are training with global positioning systems (GPS) to help map their cultural heritage sites on traditional lands between Mossman and Cooktown.
The rangers, from the Kuku Nyunkul clan, are studying at the Tropical North Queensland TAFE with the support of the Aboriginal Rainforest Council.
They will receive on-ground practical training through the Department of Natural Resources and Water (NRW).
Mr Wallace said the group was one of the first to be trained in the technical skills needed to map their own data.
“It makes absolute sense,” Mr Wallace said. “There isn’t anyone better qualified to determine what is or isn’t a cultural heritage site than the traditional owners.
“NRW has the GPS knowledge, and the indigenous rangers have the knowledge of their traditional areas.
“This is all about placing traditional owners in a position where they are familiar with the type of information required and how to gather it, so that they can fill out a site data recording sheet and interpret that information.
“They will also be able to see how the information they record corresponds to aerial photographs and maps.”
NRW Regional Manager Indigenous Services Cyril Cordery said the training would not only allow the rangers to pinpoint certain spots of cultural significance but also to map tracks and trails.
“It can be difficult to understand latitude and longitude co-ordinates, particularly when we're talking about a winding trail rather than a fixed landmark. This training will give the rangers more understanding about how the co-ordinates relate to maps,” he said.
Mr Cordery said the information collected would be managed by Kuku Nyungkul traditional owners in a new, innovative Cultural Heritage Information Management System which is being developed by the Aboriginal Rainforest Council, and networked across the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
"It will be up to traditional owners how this information is used – whether for management or tourism development."
Details on cultural heritage and related legislation are available at www.nrm.qld.gov.au/cultural_heritage
Yalanji (pron Yal-an–gee)
Kuku Nyunkul (pron Gu-goo Nee–ungal)
Media contact: Paul Childs, Craig Wallace’s office, on 0407 131 6454.
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