When First Nations peoples are free to care for and protect their lands and waters, it benefits all people, animals, and ecosystems.
As the oldest continuous culture in the world, Aboriginal peoples have cared for Country for tens of thousands of years, and they continue to lead fights to protect land, water and cultural heritage from destructive mining projects today.
In a recent win for cultural rights, Wangan and Jagalingou people celebrated one year of standing their ground at their Waddananggu camp on Adani's coal mining lease – asserting their rights as First Peoples to protect their lands and waters.
But it has never been a fair fight. Since the 1980s, the mining lobby has worked to erode First Nations peoples' rights in order to keep profiting from the destruction of Aboriginal land. Today, First Nations peoples continue to fight for the right to say NO to destructive mining projects on their land.
As the clean energy industry expands, it's important to learn from the past and ensure that the mistakes of the mining industry are not repeated. First Nations people know what's best for their land and communities, and they must be free to decide which projects to pursue, and how best to protect their Country and sacred sites for generations to come.
Initiatives like the First Nations Clean Energy network are making sure that clean energy is done the right way, driven by communities, and developed so it sustains Country for generations to come.