► “If the Land is Healthy… It Makes the People Healthy”

The research article, “If the land is healthy… it makes the people healthy”: The Relationship between caring for Country and health for the Yorta Yorta Nation, Boonwurrung and Bangerang Tribes,” is written by Jonathan Yotti Kingsley, Mardie Townsend, Rebbecca Phillips, and David Aldous, which they explored the health and well-being of 3 indigenous tribes in Victoria, Australia and discovered that a healthy self-identity was an important process for these tribes and that involved having a strong connection to the land (291).

In order for the research team to a good relationship and trust with the indigenous tribes in Victoria, the research team went out and talked (in a semi-structured interviews) and discussed negotiations with the tribal Elders and the indigenous people in the southeastern state of Victoria, and also with government agencies (292-293).  The project’s aim was to see what the indigenous communities needed and the research team used a qualitative study and building trust with indigenous tribes was a key learning experience in their research (294).

Australia once had over 600 Indigenous Nations and each nation had their own distinct language, culture, and customs and that was “complex and they moved from place to place within their boundaries” (292).  The south-eastern state of Victoria is an Indigenous homeland for these tribes for more than 50,000 years (293).  The three tribes that this research project focuses on are the Bangerang, the Boonwurrung, and the Yorta Yorta (293). 

The research team focused on the “well-being benefits of caring for Country” for the three tribes in Victoria (291).  Indigenous people believed that if a person has a strong connection to the land and had a strong cultural identity and that meant he or she has good health (292).  A person’s well-being depended on cultural factors and Aboriginals believed that having a connection to Country meant having a “sense of community and kin” (292).

Bibliography:

Kingsley, Jonathan ‘Yotti’,Townsend, Mardie, Phillips, Rebecca, Aldous, David. “If the land is healthy… it makes the people healthy’’: The relationship between caring for Country and health for the Yorta Yorta Nation, Boonwurrung and Bangerang Tribes.” Health & Place 15 (2009): 291–299.

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