INDIGENOUS leaders say they have had some closure with signs erected in the North East’s national parks highlighting their heritage.
Earth-brown coloured signs with the words ‘Where Spirits Dance’ have been placed at the entrance and gorge area of Mount Buffalo park and at the Wallace’s Hut Trailhead in the alpine park, near Falls Creek.
Other interpretive signs have been placed along the Wallace’s Heritage Trail describing the diverse cultural heritage of Aboriginal and European settlement.
Darren McLeod said it was not about land rights or reclaiming the land.
“The Yaithmathang people once called this land home,” he said.
“This simple sign recognises that.
“Between the Vic Alps people and the traditional owner groups, we are now really starting to see some progress. For some it’s closure.”
Parks Victoria chief ranger Peter Jacobs said more signs were telling the story of the traditional owners heritage.
“Signs on the Mount Buffalo walk to The Horn describe the relationship between the migration of Bogong moths and Aboriginal people to the high country,” he said.
“Signs on the Lake Catani walk describe some of the common plants and their names in Aboriginal language.
“This follows consultation between Parks Victoria and the Victorian Alps and East Gippsland Traditional Owner Reference Group.
“The group was formed in 2006 after an historical meeting of traditional owners from across the Australian Alps at Mount Hotham, and it involves the 10 groups that have connection with this broad landscape in Victoria.”
Mr Jacobs said evidence of aboriginal habitation dating back thousands of years was still being found particularly around cattlemen’s huts.
“That is not surprising, given those areas are usually in sheltered areas with good water.”