‘All things will outlast us’: how the Indigenous concept of deep time helps us understand environmental destruction

by Ann McGrath

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The bushfire royal commission is examining ways Indigenous land and fire management could improve Australia’s resilience to national disasters. On the face of it, this offers an opportunity to embrace Indigenous ways of knowing. But one traditional practice unlikely to be examined is the Indigenous concept of “deep time”. This concept offers all Australians a blueprint for understanding the land we live on.