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The land is the mother and we are of the land; we do not own the land rather the land owns us.The land is our food, our culture, our spirit and our identity Dennis Foley, a Gai-mariagal and Wiradjuri man, and Fulbright scholar.You rely on them to share resources, to help you get from one place to another (you have to share vehicles and find a way to pay for petrol), to join together to confront a school that is not working with the community or a land council that has not been negotiating properly.
The land is a link between all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's existence - spirituality, culture, language, family, law and identity.
Each person is entrusted with the cultural knowledge and responsibility to care for the land they identify with through kinship systems.
Rather than owning land, people develop strong intimate knowledge and connection for a place that is related to them.
The intimate knowledge of a place forms this strong connection that is inherent to Indigenous identity.
They tell stories of their fishing and hunting trips, of great romances and funny anecdotes.
Their world is full of rich stories, of songlines, of music, of dance.Life is supplemented with bush tucker and everyone works together and shares what they have. But there is also something else that is perhaps even more surprising.As I sat around the campfire in the evening, what rose up into the night sky amid the smoke was laughter.It is also a community driven movement towards long-term social, cultural, physical and sustainable economic development in rural and remote locations, simultaneously contributing to the conservation of globally valued environmental and cultural assets [^2].The following article speaks to the impact and significance of a continuing relationship with country.Or maybe it is the happiness that gives a person a more generous spirit, a larger heart.How do you take the pain of the past, whatever your background, and make it something that doesn’t cripple you?Land sustains Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives in every aspect - spiritually, physically, socially and culturally.The notion of landscape as a second skin is central to a lot of Aboriginal Art, whether it be theatre, dance, music or painting.“Caring for country” means participating in interrelated activities on Aboriginal lands and seas with the objective of promoting ecological, spiritual and human health.To not know your country causes a painful disconnection, the impact of which is well documented in studies relating to health, wellbeing and life outcomes...It is this knowledge that enables me to identify who I am, who my family is, who my ancestors were and what my stories are.