We are the current custodians of our land – would you pay respect to us?
In Australia, when we have formal public events, particularly when a member of parliament is present we pay respect to the original owners of the land. I wonder if the same will be said about us in the future?
One guideline for what to say is “I would like to acknowledge the ______ people, the traditional custodians of the country on which we are meeting today. I acknowledge that they have occupied and cared for this country over countless generations and I celebrate their continuing contribution to the life of this region. (Pause)”
The original owners of the land occupied and cared for this country over countless generations, an Aboriginal Proverb made famous by architects, sums their approach to caring for the land – “Touch the Earth lightly”.
The original owners were good custodians – a person entrusted with guarding or maintaining a property, a keeper, guardian.
In another generations time will we have we touched the earth lightly, will we be thanked for having been good custodians?