“Irati Wanti; The Poison, Leave It” was the campaign of the Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta – the senior Aboriginal women of Coober Pedy against a proposed nuclear waste dump on their country. Their campaign which ran from 1998 – 2004 and was ultimately successful in stopping the dump.
“We are Aboriginal Women — Yankunytjatjara, Antikarinya and Kokatha. We know the country. We know the stories for the land. We are worrying for the country and we’re worrying for our kids. We say, ‘No radioactive dump in our ngura — in our country’.”
I supported the campaign from the fringes before moving to Coober Pedy in 2004 to work on the ground supporting the Kungka Tjuta. It was my introduction to the desert and I learned an enormous amount through this campaign.
The federal government is now trying to put the waste dump in Muckaty in the Northern Territory where it is being met with equally strong opposition; the campaign is now in it’s seventh year in 2013. Beyond Nuclear Initiative and ACF Muckaty campaign pages.
Images: Kungka Tjuta image courtesy World Citizenship, Irati Wanti campaign website header (iratiwanti.org no longer live).