103 9 Caring for our sacred waterways – learning from our past Colin Saltmere Introduction I am one of the Indjalandji-Dhidhanu people from the headwaters of the Lake Eyre Basin catchment, at the top of the catchment of the Georgina River. My father was an Alyawarr man. He was born under a sacred tree at Lake Nash (Alpurrurulam) on the Georgina River (Fig. 9.1). My mother’s mother’s tribal name was Marrarru, the name of a Dreaming that passes through the country where she was born, on Barkly Station. This is also the name of a tree on the Georgina River near Camooweal. The Indjalandji-Dhidhanu people are the Traditional Owners of our country our custom holds our law for that country. And part of our law and my ancestral line is rain-making. My grandmother’s brother and my great- grandfather before him were both rain-makers. They used to meet with the Alyawarr men, Fig. 9.1. The Georgina River catchment flows south of Mt Isa to join Eyre Creek and eventually the Diamantina River, south of the town of Birdsville and along the way supplies incredible floodplains and lakes. The Georgina River has many culturally significant sites for Traditional Owners, up and down the river and its floodplains.
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