Country, Culture, People, Future

Wajarri Yamatji

Check out YMAC News issue 16

Posted: December 14th, 2011

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The latest issue of YMAC News is now available from our website, featuring some great stories of Traditional Owners in the Pilbara and Midwest looking after their country, culture and heritage.

Click here to read about steps the Nyangumarta people have taken with the State Government to protect their sea country, a legal decision that supports protection of the heritage-listed Weld Range, YMAC staff learning about Aboriginal culture, and some exciting photos of recent law business at Warralong Aboriginal community.

This issue also includes the outcomes of YMAC’s Annual Regional Meetings, information about YMAC’s operations this summer, and a feature introducing two members of our Board of Directors, Selina Stewart and Ben Roberts.

If you would like to request hard copies of YMAC News or join our e-subscribers list and get information first, please contact srosenfeld@ymac.org.au.

NNTT finds Wajarri heritage is more important than money

Posted: September 27th, 2011

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Traditional owner Colin Hamlett in the Weld Range

The National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) has recently made a very important decision for the Wajarri Yamatji people. The NNTT ruled that four mining tenements in the Weld Range cannot be granted because of the cultural significance of the area to the Wajarri Yamatji people.

This is only the second time that the NNTT has ever made such a decision, and it comes after parts of the Weld Range were accepted on to the National Heritage List earlier this year.

Weld Range Metals, the company that wished to mine the area, has been reluctant to meet with the Wajarri Yamatji people and did not come to agreement over the proposed mining project.
Deputy President Sumner of the NNTT came to the conclusion that, “the interests, proposals, opinions or wishes of the [Wajarri Yamatji people] in relation to the use of the Tenement area should be given greater weight than the potential economic benefit or public interest in the Project proceeding. The Weld Range area (including the Tenement area) is of such significance to the [Wajarri Yamatji people] in accordance with their traditions that mining on it should only be permitted with their agreement.”

The NNTT’s decision was reached after an on-country hearing earlier this year which included visits to important places in the Weld Range. The Wajarri Yamatji people and YMAC staff gave evidence about “caves with rock art, waterholes and old corroboree and ceremonial grounds, all of which remain of particular significance to the [Wajarri Yamatji people] in accordance with their traditions.”

This is a fantastic result for the Wajarri Yamatji people and YMAC congratulates them for their strength in fighting to protect their cultural heritage.

Watch GWN’s coverage of the story here: http://au.gwn7.yahoo.com/w1/video/-/watch/26753825/native-title-tribunal-vetoes-mine/ 

Weld Range added to the National Heritage List

Posted: February 25th, 2011

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Signpost – road leading to Wilgie Mia/Thuwarri Thaa, Weld Range in distance

 

This week the Weld Range in WA’s Midwest joined other iconic Australian sites on the prestigious National Heritage List.

The Weld Range is approximately sixty kilometres north-west of Cue, and is of significant cultural importance to the traditional owners of the area, the Wajarri Yamatji people, as well as neighbouring Indigenous groups.

The 45ha area of the National Heritage Listing includes Wilgie Mia, Little Wilgie Mia and the Marlu Resting Place. These sites contain sacred law grounds, dreamtime places, thousands of examples of rock art, extensive archaeological material, and the Wilgie Mia red ochre mine.

The inclusion on the National Heritage List will help Wajarri Yamatji people to manage the area effectively, alongside the growing mining and tourism industries in Western Australia.
Click here to read more about the Weld Range on the National Heritage List