Ngunnawal people

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The Ngunnawal people (alternatively Ngunawal tribe) are the Indigenous Australian inhabitants whose traditional lands encompass much of the area now occupied by the city of Canberra, Australia and the surrounding Australian Capital Territory. They speak the Ngunawal language.

When first encountered by European settlers in the 1820s, the Ngunawal people lived in an area roughly bounded by what is now the towns of Queanbeyan, Tumut, Boorowa and Goulburn. The Ngunawal people were neighbours of the Yuin (on the coast), Ngarigo (who lived south east of Canberra), Wiradjuri (to the west) and Gundungurra (to the north) peoples.

Some Indigenous people claim to be part of the Ngamberri nation located inside the Ngunawal country border. However, the claim of the nation status is disputed by other Aboriginal Australians, who state that the Ngamberri are a just a small family clan of the Wiradjuri nation.

The earliest direct evidence for Indigenous occupation in the area comes from a rock shelter near the area of Birrigai near Tharwa, which has been dated to approximately 20,000 years ago. However, it is likely (based on older sites known from the surrounding regions) that human occupation of the region goes back considerably further. Whether the original occupants of these early sites were ancestral to the Ngunawal is not directly known, however Ngunnawal lore and tradition identify strongly with these sites and the surrounding lands, indicating a lengthy...
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