Caring for Our Country: IATSIS

The Benefits Associated with Caring for Country: Literature Review

The beneficial relationships held between Indigenous people and their country are encapsulated in sayings by Indigenous people such as ‘healthy country, healthy people’ and ‘if you look after the country, the country will look after you’. This literature review considers the growing field of research that is documenting and examining the benefits of caring for country.

‘Caring for country’ can be understood generally as Indigenous peoples’ approaches to land and water management, although with some central distinctions. ‘Country’ is a term Indigenous people use that can be described as the lands with which Indigenous people have a traditional attachment or relationship (see Rose 1992 for a much broader definition). Care for this country is based in the laws, customs and ways of life that Indigenous people have inherited from their ancestors and ancestral beings.