Locals from Morobe go on cultural exchange trip

Youth & Careers

SIX participants from the Yus Conservation Area in Morobe will leave for Seattle, Washington, today to take part in a cultural exchange programme.
The trip is part of a cultural exchange programme between representatives from the Yus Conservation Area in Kabwum, Morobe and the Lummi Indian nation, the original inhabitants of the Salish Sea in Washington (USA) and British Columbi (Canada).
The team will be led by Francisca Yagama, who is the acting manager of the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Programme (TKCP) and Yus women’s representative, with other officers including Timmy Sowang, Gibson Gala, Keisah Kura, Koki Biam and Danny Sammadingke.
The visit will also coincide with the annual Salish sea canoe journey, an event observed by the Lummi.
In Seattle, the two groups will share and learn from each other in terms of their cultural bonds with their landscapes and iconic wildlife, traditional practices for managing natural resources sustainably and how they are working to practice, protect and celebrate their cultures and traditions in the face of outside influences and pressures.
Yagama said they hoped to get some valuable knowledge and perspectives on conservation and protection of certain species of animals, particularly in the face of human activities.
She said the TKCP in Yus covered 78,790 hectares and the land was owned by customary landowners from 50 villages.
Yagama said they would also learn and do more about their junior rangers programme where they would teach children from an early age on how to look after their environment and protect endangered species such as the tree kangaroo.
She said they were hoping for more exchange activities to come after their visit.
Sammadingke thanked TKCP for choosing him to travel with the team and said it was an opportunity of a lifetime and he aimed to add to his knowledge and work in wildlife conservation.
“Culture is basically the things that we do and the way that we live; that is what we’d like to share with our brothers and sisters from Seattle.
“With the influx in foreign influence, many young people do not see the importance of our culture so I’m going to learn from this exchange and bring back something to preserve our culture,” he said.

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