Thank You !

Thank you for your thoughtful correspondence and kind words. I am sure if I had been able to pass them on to Baymarrwangga she would have smiled too. Her instructions were that the Atlas is a resource of ancestral knowledge not for sale. We cannot sell the Atlas, but we can encourage donations to assist in furthering the project of passing on this rare knowledge asset to the next generations. As always donors giving more than a thousand dollars will receive an Atlas as a gift, the few remaining others are for the children Big Boss created them for. To the many sincere people that generously promised their help the opportunity is here. The distribution of the Atlas to schoolchildren around the N.T continues. The North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA) as always is helping out and your donation to the NAILSMA tax deductible gift account will help us share this valuable resource to schools.

All around Australia indigenous language is extremely endangered where life on the homelands and bilingual education has been destroyed by the assimilationist powers of the settler state. 1 Baymarrwangga said to resist assimilation “we must ennoble the hearts of those who humiliate us”. Her respect for language and culture compelled her to create a family of interrelated projects in support of language, livelihoods and homelands. Together with the positive health outcomes and psychological resilience attending bilingualism, local languages promote the inter-generational transmission of vital local knowledge to a new generation. This is part of a suite of local initiatives that skill and employ people on country, follow traditional law, protect linguistic, cultural and biological diversity and create an inclusive and liveable future world.

For example, the Ranger Program she started with her own money now protects more than 10,000km2 of sea country with 250km2 of registered sacred sites. The 1000km2 turtle sanctuary she started is caring for some of the last breeding and nesting places of many endangered species including endangered sea birds. Language nests she started brought old and young together to learn not only language but the kindness and wisdom of kinship and knowledge of country flowing from uncounted generations of intimae coexistence with the environment.

Her vison to improve economic, social and cultural wellbeing by providing meaningful employment and education through dedicated language and cultural programs was funded by her and volunteers. She worked to manage, conserve and enhance the natural marine resources and traditional ecological knowledge living inside local languages to share with children around Australia. By giving this Atlas to school children across the NT she continues in spirit to bring a new inclusive perspective to education about the diverse inheritance of living indigenous homelands for the future of all Australians. To assist us to carry on her work you may donate to the NAILSMA Public Fund Account:

BSB: 085 – 933

Acc. No.: 140 012 871

Acc. Name: NAILSMA

Yours, Bentley James for Laurie Baymarrwangga.

[1] The U.N Human Development Report insists that there is ‘… no more powerful means of ‘encouraging’ individuals to assimilate to a dominant culture than having the economic, social and political returns stacked against their mother tongue. Such assimilation is not freely chosen if the choice is between one’s mother tongue and one’s future. (http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2004/33)

 

 

 

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