Barka: The Forgotten River
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Listen to the people who have loved Barka for generations, their joyful memories of a healthy clean river, their sorrow at its current state, and be spurred to action by their ongoing fight for Barka.
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Listen to Uncle Badger Bates discuss how the Barkandji people have lived and thrived along the river using sustainable land management practices and being guided by culture.
We say that the Ngatyi, the rainbow serpent there's two of em - a male and female - they will look after us and we believe in the Ngaty: they there to protect us.
Hands on Country
That’s why we put the hand - to say this is ours.
No More Catfish
This was in my childhood the fish was in there and when they started mucking with the river, the catfish went and the mussels went.
At Wilcannia, where this river frontage is, there's a place called Steamer Point and that’s where the river dries up.
We got our peoples occupation for 30,000 years, they was here at Lake Menindee and they hunted around these areas.
Brolgas are Family
Brolgas would come up and dance around them and want some of the plants... it was easy for the human to dig the plant and feed the animal than the animal have to get it, and that’s when you say they are family.
Life Coming Back to Moon Lake
The lake near Wilcannia, Lake Woytchugga: Uncle Badger Bates calls it ‘moon lake’ or Bychutka. Bychutka means the moon.
That’s the story about the Brolgas, if you watch them they’ll do things... And karampara means corroboree.
All Acknowledgement, No Authority
To me they may as well take that Native Title rights - it means nothing.
The plants what're being protected and they're finding endangered plants, our people protected those because they was related to them...
Mission Mob, Bend Mob
When I was a reared up, old granny she didn't like living in the mission, we'd all just build a tin hut and live on the bend of the river.
In our Veins
Even though my other two mothers are gone now, I still got a mother there - the Barka - so I gotta protect that until I go.
How can we, the Barkandji people, teach our culture and our knowledge about the Ngatji and all that, the Rainbow Serpent, when there's no water in the river?
I was born here in Wilcannia in 1940 and I’ve lived on the river all my life.
Denis Wilson 'Crow'
A poem about the river of life.
My people are the Barkandji people. When I was a child... I was taught the traditional ways and stories of my people.
The river is very important to us all the people that lives on the river, and our water is supposed to have been shared by Mother Nature, but it’s not going that way.
We've lived here all our life in Wilcannia and it’s sad to see the river how it is today. We never seen the river this bad.
Darren Whyman 'Horse'
My name is Darren Whyman, better known as ‘Horse’. My tribe is the Barkandji people which mean ‘river people’.
When I reflect on the river, I think about my grandmother Elsie Jones, how she would keep us in touch with nature and culture. Telling of our connections to country and creation stories like the Falling Star.
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