Cultural Burning – First Nations Land Management Practise

Watch this video to learn about cultural burning.

Cultural burning is a cultural fire practice used by First Nations people to improve the health of Country and its people. It has been used for over 60,000 years to manage land, plants and animals.

Reviving ancient practises such as cultural burning is essential for land management techniques to manage the risk of bushfires which is worsening because of climate change.

Guiding Questions:

  • Where does Victor Steffensen think the fear of fire comes from?
  • How is a cultural burn different from a European hazard reduction burn?
  • What are the benefits of a cultural burn for the plants, animals and landscape?
  • What differences do you see in the vegetation after a cultural versus hazard reduction burn?
  • What western scientific method is used to compare the land before and after a burn? What does it measure?
  • Do you think it is important to revive this ancient practice? Why?

See the Australian Museum for more details and related classroom activities.


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Many of these resources and activities have been developed in consultation with NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to ensure that the program meets NSW curriculum outcomes for Stages 3, 4 & 5.