Want to Stop Australia’s Fires? Listen to Aboriginal People
I spoke about the destructiveness of the recent fires with my countryman Murrandoo Yanner, a Gangalidda leader and the director of the Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation. Mr. Yanner is a man made for these times; he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the world that he has assimilated into Gangalidda laws and philosophy.
Mr. Yanner said that the way forward is back. “If we can understand, learn from and imagine our place through the laws and stories of our ancestors,” he told me, “then we will have true knowledge on how to live, adapt and survive in Australia, just as our ancestors did.”
Since the 1990s, Mr. Yanner has led Aboriginal people in the Gulf of Carpentaria toward sustainable economic development. He guided the Waanyi nation through Aboriginal rights campaigns, including opposition to the development of Century Mine, an open pit zinc mine that began production in 1999 and operated for 16 years.