2.14 Indigenous people with access to their traditional lands

This measure reports on the proportion of Indigenous people living on, or visiting, traditional areas of land with which they have ancestral or cultural links.

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Why is it important?

This measure reports on the proportion of Indigenous Australians living on or visiting traditional areas of land with which they have ancestral or cultural links. Connection to family and community, land and sea, and cultural identity are integral to health from an Aboriginal perspective (NAHSWP 1989). Ongoing access to traditional lands also offers socio‑political, economic and environmental benefits (Weir et al. 2011). Access to traditional lands is a determinant of health in remote contexts where Indigenous Australians are more likely to have ownership and control over their Country; it is also a determinant of health for those living in non‑remote and urban areas. Research in Victoria has found the role of Country helps strengthen self‑esteem, self‑worth, pride, cultural and spiritual connection, and positive states of wellbeing (Kingsley et al. 2013).

Related measures

Data sources

  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey

References

  • NAHSWP (National Aboriginal Health Strategy Working Party) 1989. A national Aboriginal health strategy. Canberra: AGPS.
  • Weir J, Stacey C & Youngetob K 2011. The benefits associated with Caring for Country: literature review (prepared by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies for the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities). Canberra: DSEWPC.
  • Kingsley J, Townsend M, Henderson‑Wilson C & Bolam B 2013. Developing an exploratory framework linking Australian Aboriginal peoples’ connection to country and concepts of wellbeing. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 10:678–98.