Twenty five water sites found

Nganjapayi Chapman beside a water site she located from the helicopter;

Nganjapayi Chapman beside a water site she located from the helicopter;

rom the air rangers can be seen cleaning out a rockhole

rom the air rangers can be seen cleaning out a rockhole

Ttaken from 12ft down the rockhole the rangers celebrate finishing cleaning out the rockhole

Ttaken from 12ft down the rockhole the rangers celebrate finishing cleaning out the rockhole

For two weeks at the end of April and the beginning of May, the yintakaja (waterhole) helicopter mapping project kicked off for 2017. Martu elders and younger family members came from Bidyadanga, South Hedland and Parnngurr to work in Punmu and Kunawarritji.

In Punmu, Waka Taylor, Minyawu Miller and Nganjapayi Chapman worked on mapping yintakaja sites to the north of Punmu and along the lake chain to the south east of the community. Eight sites were located including Mukurtu Spring. Mukurtu is an important site that was located in the 1980s but has not been visited since. Two other water sites that had been mistakenly identified had their names corrected and one site had its name confirmed.  While the yintakaja mapping was being conducted, elders Kumpaya Girgirba, Jakayu Biljabu and Thelma Judson participated in remote waterhole mapping and family tree sessions with Davenport and younger members of their families at the Punmu ranger station. These sessions added numerous sites to Wanyja (waterhole database) and many of the Punmu rangers were able to learn about their family tree.

The mapping team then moved to Kunawarritji, where Kumpaya, Thelma and the Kunawarritji rangers found 17sites around Kunawarritji and  the Percival Lakes area. It was a great start to the yintakaja program for the year.