The Ngarigo people are the traditional custodians of the majority of the region we now know as the Snowy Monaro, with our work in the Upper Murrumbidgee running through this beautiful country. Archaeological surveys reveal a long and rich cultural history, with significant sites throughout the region. The Monaro was heavily impacted by colonisation with many Aboriginal people leaving the area. Despite this, Ngarigo people maintain strong spiritual and cultural connections to the high country and are increasingly being acknowledged and included in decision making across the region. In 2016, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Ngarigo elders and the NSW Government enabling the local indigenous community to be involved in managing and preserving the cultural heritage of Kosciuzko National Park.
In more recent times there have been concerns raised by Ngarigo people about development approvals on land that is sacred, a situation that has raised the profile of Aboriginal rights and connections in the Snowy region.
Places – Bundian Way
An important project in the region is the Bundian Way, which begins at Mount Kosciuszko at 2,228 metres and runs 365km where it reaches the coast at Bilgalera, on Twofold Bay. The Bundian Way is an Eden Local Aboriginal Land Council project that is developing the ancient walking track from the coast to the mountains. This walking track is older than the silk roads, and was used the Aboriginal people for trading, ceremonies, family gatherings and caring for country for thousands of years. At many places along the route you can see the original landscapes and evidence of the old land management is still obvious. The Bundian Way illustrates how in the early days of European settlement, the old Aboriginal people showed the settlers the best places for their stations, as well as routes through the wild country, following the pathways that had been used for thousands of years. To find out more you can visit the website.
More information can be found about some of the rites, customs and history of the Ngarigo people on the Monaro Pioneers website. The summary information on this page has been modified from the Snowy Monaro Council website.