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In late June, Natural Resources staff had the unique opportunity to travel to Queensland, Australia in order to learn from their Indigenous Land & Sea Ranger program – a program where the Queensland Government partners with Indigenous communities to care for land and sea country, provide jobs and training and engage future generations. Since 2014, we have been planning on implementing a similar program and we have gone to great lengths to learn from those who already have successful programs, like the Guardian Watchmen in British Columbia who we visited in 2016. So, thanks to grant funding provided by the Administration for Native Americans, Environmental Regulatory Enhancement grant, we were able to go and learn firsthand from the originators of this wonderful program, the Indigenous Land & Sea Rangers. 

Megan Van Pelt, Natural Resources Director, Rosa Laucci, Marine Program Manager, Jaytuk Steinruck, Tribal Resources Specialist and Jennifer Jacobs, Fisheries Program Manager all set off for the long journey down under and arrived in Brisbane on June 16th. We were greeted by our Queensland Government hosts, Dave Wildermuth (Program Manager) and Chloe Jensen (Program Officer), when we landed and joined by Graham Keating (Team Leader) a couple of days later. As the days unfolded, we were given extensive background on the program and learned so much that we can incorporate into our own program. 

The major difference between us is that the Queensland Government is the funding source for these ranger programs. The $11M per annum program, administered by the Department of Environment and Science (DES), assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organizations with grants to employ Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger teams. It delivers training, networking and partnership support for ranger groups. 

Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers deliver negotiated work plans that reflect Traditional Owner, local community, and Queensland Government priorities. Their activities include a wide range of environmental and cultural heritage conservation and community engagement activities. 

Conservation work can include feral animal and pest plant control, soil conservation, cultural heritage recording and protection, biodiversity and species monitoring and managed burns. Community engagement activities can include Junior Ranger activities, school based and other traineeships, support for disaster recovery and contributions to local community events. Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers are often Traditional Owners of the area on which they work and deliver conservation services that successfully combine methods drawn from both traditional knowledge and western science. 

Rangers work in regional and remote communities across Queensland with groups based in twenty-three locations. We visited four of these ranger groups in Northern Queensland: the Laura Rangers, Yuku-Baja-Muliku Rangers, Yirrganydji Rangers, and Gudjuda Rangers. 

Laura Rangers: 

The Laura Rangers are actively engaged in sustainable natural resource management practices to enhance the rich cultural and environmental values of the region. Some of the ranger’s achievements include: 

✓ ongoing cultural site recording and management of the estimated 10,000 rock art sites in the Quinkan reserves 

✓ protection of rock art images by clearing vegetation and annual cool burns to reduce fuel load and protect galleries from the flame and smoke of hot wildfire 

✓ weed and feral animal management including cattle and pigs that sometimes shelter around the rock art 

✓ special places are protected by animal exclusion fencing which the rangers construct and maintain 

✓ biodiversity surveys 

✓ water quality monitoring 

Yuku-Baja-Muliku Rangers: 

In addition to being treated to their local art gallery where we were able to meet and talk with elders and artists, we were taken to the Yuku-Baja-Muliku (YBM) Ranger base (where they have a buoy tree, like ours) to see their Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center and to the Annan River where we were shown their local freshwater mussels. The aim of the YBM Rangers is to ensure that Traditional Owners have the means to protect themselves, future generations and their culture through active, positive and physical connections to country and continuing access to traditional foods. Current projects include: 

✓ Turtle Rescue & Monitoring 

✓ Sea grass Monitoring 

✓ Cultural Heritage 

✓ Land & Sea Patrols 

✓ Fire Management 

✓ Weed & Feral Animal Control 

YBM Rangers are constantly busy building capabilities and aspirations, inspiring others to return to country, and developing programs to ensure a strong ranger program for future generations. The ranger program provides real jobs, skill development, confidence building and instills a sense of pride. By focusing on land management they can start to diversify their income away from government grants and towards contracting services with National Parks, Council and other neighboring land-holding bodies, the development of ecosystem services, and developing tourism opportunities and infrastructure, such as campsites. YBM also has a Junior Ranger Program that emphasizes childrens’ ability to make a difference and to learn and appreciate their environment in an engaging, fun and exciting manner. The Junior Ranger program works together with a wide range of partners to reach as many youth, parents and the community as possible. 

Dear Parents/Guardians and Participants,
Dv-laa-ha~, the Waa-tr’vslh-‘a~ (Culture) Department, Dee-ni’ Wee-ya’ (Dee-ni’ Language) Committee, & Waa-tr’vslh-‘a~ Committee invites youth to participate in our upcoming 12th Annual Dee-ni’ Mvsr-xee-ye’ Wee-ya’ Lhetlh-xat (youth language gathering) on August 15th-17th , for ages 7-13 years old; children under the age of 7 years are welcome when accompanied by an adult. This year we will be a day camp as we will be visiting three different sites giving our youth an opportunity to experience different culturally significant sites. We will start everyday at Xaa-wan’-k’wvt Village Resort before moving to the other locations to visit. Our community dinner will be at Xaa-wan’-k’wvt Village Resort on Friday,
August 17th 4:00-6:00 PM, the entire family is invited to attend. There will also be a special presentation from our youth and acknowledgement of their participation will be provided.

Download Application

The goal of our Dee-ni’ Mvsr-xee-ye’ Wee-ya’ Lhetlh-xat is to revitalize, preserve and strengthen our Dee-ni’ Culture and Language. We are in a crucial time of fostering and promoting speech communities and promoting our self-identity through our language and culture. Acquisition of our indigenous communication is a vital link in reclaiming and promoting our spirituality, rites and communal wellness. We will be approaching and integrating our language in a number of activities such as: stick games, singing, dancing, storytelling, girls’ shell game, boys’ card game, hiking, swimming and several other enriching fun-filled activities.

It is our mission to incorporate our language and ways of life in all areas of activities. For without the continuation of our indigenous ways of life, we would be severing our relationship with our ancestors, and the teachings they have given to us to continue as Tolowa Dee-ni’ people.

Please complete the attached registration form and return it to Sri’-swvlh Mee-ne’ or the K’vsh-chu Administration Tribal Office no later than Friday July 27th, 2018 @ 5:00 PM. Space is limited, so please turn in your registration soon. This year will be a day camp. Camp will start at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, August 15th @ the Xaa-wan’-k’wvt Village Resort. Some transportation is available to pick up campers. If needed please call by August 3rd, 2018.

We will again be enjoying our culture and the company of our young tribal citizens in an interactive setting with our elders and community. Volunteers are welcomed and appreciated. If you are interested in volunteering please complete and turn in an application no later than July 27th, 2018. All volunteers, staff and contractors are required to attend a group meeting on Monday, August 13th & Tuesday August 14th. A special shu’ shaa-nin-la to all the parents and community members who participated last year, your assistance was invaluable. Please note that there will be a Head-Check Station upon arrival to camp. If your child does not pass the Head-Check, they will be sent home.

If you should need additional information, please contact
Amber Gensaw in the Waa-tr’vslh-‘a~ Department @ 707-487-3236

Sowing Seeds for Local Abundance:
A Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Agricultural Enterprise and Farmer Training Feasibility Study.


Sowing Seeds for Local Abundance investigates the feasibility of establishing an Agricultural
Enterprise & Farmer Training Program on Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation tribal land that will increase local
farming and food economic opportunities. The format for this study follows the objectives of
documenting current local farming operations and assessing Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation economic and
cultural growth potential. The ultimate purpose of this work has been to promote economic and
workforce development for the tribe, improve food security and access for the local community,
and instill Tribal Food Sovereignty and Culture through agricultural practices.


Download Sowing Seeds for Local Abundance 


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