A mining giant and an Indigenous corporation have entered into new partnership with the aim of training Yindjibarndi women to become rangers. Rio Tinto announced on November 14 it had entered into a partnership with Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, with a focus on development of a Ngurra Waba (Healthy Country) Plan and training of Yindjibarndi women to become rangers. The Yindjibarndi Ranger program was established in 2019 and is guided by elders, ensuring that Yindjibarndi land management practices are passed on and applied appropriately by Yindjibarndi people. As part of the new partnership, a female ranger team will be established to include two rangers and a co-ordinator, with the aim to protect and preserve Yindjibarndi women’s sites and knowledge. It is also hoped to give Yindjibarndi women more diverse opportunities to develop skills in cultural land management. The Yindjibarndi Ngurra Waba Plan will identify and outline culturally significant and important places for protection, key projects and priorities for the Yindjibarndi ranger program. A new cultural adviser will be appointed to oversee the ranger program, working closely to teach and guide rangers in culturally safe and appropriate work practices. Yindjibarndi ranger program manager Taryn Milroy said the program was about practising, learning and teaching culture, especially ways of managing and connecting to ngurra (country). “It’s also very much about our people,” he said. “We want Yindjibarndi people to have the opportunity to work on country to protect and preserve our special sites and places, and deliver impactful work that supports the health of our ngurra and in turn, our people.” Mr Milroy said the support from Rio would allow the rangers to progress their Ngurra Waba Plan and create more opportunities for Yindjibarndi women to join the program. Rio Tinto managing director rail, port and core services Richard Cohen said the new partnership would build on the successful Yindjibarndi ranger program and tap into thousands of years of women’s knowledge to care for country. “With both male and female rangers, the Yindjibarndi ranger program will be able to care for all country, protect and preserve culture and heritage, and support the Yindjibarndi community through employment opportunities and education,” he said.