Chuulangun Aboriginal Corporation has recently completed a report Kaanju Fire Management 2003, funded by the Cape York Peninsula Development Association (CYPDA) Fire Project through Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation. The report investigates a number of issues including:

  • Current fire burning regimes on Kaanju homelands.
  • Kaanju view of current fire research.
  • Kaanju priorities for fire research and how research should take place.
  • How Kaanju people wish to see fire management take place on country and recommendations, including current constraints.
  • Resources required for appropriate fire management on Kaanju lands.
  • Evidence of any habitat change from changed burning regimes.

The Kaanju Fire Report stressed a number of points: (1) Kaanju people have an existing fire management science, based on thousands of years of knowledge and practice, which has been transferred through ancestral bloodlines to the contemporary knowledge and practice. (2) Western science and government need to acknowledge indigenous fire management knowledge and practice as a legitimate science and recognise the primacy of Kaanju management on homelands. (3) According to Kaanju governance structures there are certain people who have responsibilities to burn and these people need to be resourced to practice their existing fire management. (4) Kaanju people are concerned about current imposed fire practices, in particular technical tools such as satellite imagery that take photographs of peoples homelands without permission, and are ineffectual for on-ground management. We are currently developing a fire management strategy and the basic structure is outlined in our Kaanju Homelands Land and Resource Management Framework. (Text source: Kaanju Ngaachi )