On February 1, Bradley Moggridge gave a WRRC Special Presentation titled “Indigenous Knowledge and Methodologies to Inform Water Management.” Moggridge is Murri from the Kamilaroi Nation in Australia, where he is an associate professor in Indigenous Water Science at the University of Canberra and the President of the Australian Freshwater Science Society. In his presentation, Moggridge detailed the challenges that the Kamilaroi people currently face in water management. These include recovery from historical traumatic events, distrust of the Australian government, and the belief among non-indigenous Australians that Indigenous knowledge is not credible. He described the Kamilaroi people as “custodians to the Australian land,” stating that as a descendant of Kamilaroi, he is obligated to care for the country and to fill the void in water management with Kamilaroi knowledge and science. The methodology he proposes is to decolonize water law by developing a First Peoples water council, to have water research led by First People, and to allow the First People to have documented water rights. Rounding out his presentation, Moggridge stressed the importance of celebration and collaboration between western and Indigenous science, not forgetting that one of the oldest surviving cultures in the driest inhabited continent needs to have a water voice because Indigenous knowledge and science can be the key to a sustainable water future.
Image: Kamilaroi painting of a Thagaay, Golden Perch or Yellow Belly (Moggridge, 2004)