The Wudjuk and the Yued people of the Noongar language group of Aboriginals are the original custodians of this area. Dom Salvado was particularly interested in learning about their culture and preserving it.
At the 200 year celebration, a commemorative booklet contained the following passages:
Salvado discerned quickly that the Europeans knew little of the traditional owners, and few had reliable opinions. He resolved that: ‘the most efficient method to obtain our goal was to go and live among the savages themselves in that part of the bush where they had not been contaminated by the morally corrupt European society.’ (1883)
In an opening statement by Mary Nannup, Margaret Drayton and Paul Willaway Executive Directors, New Norcia Aboriginal Corporation they share the following sentiment:
The establishment of the Aboriginal mission at New Norcia had a profound effect on the lives of the local Aboriginal people, the Yued people of the Noongar nation. This coincided with much upheaval for the Noongar people who bore the brunt of the early British colony in Western Australia.
We consider that Bishop Salvado was a friend of the Yued people. Bishop Salvado gained the trust of the Yued people who helped him and his fellow missionaries survive in the bush and to establish the mission at New Norcia.
Bishop Salvado had a deep interest and respect for Aboriginal people in which he recorded the local Noongar language, culture and customs. Those records have provided important historical information about Noongar people, including being used to support the Noongar native title claim.
To further explore and include Aboriginal interpretation in the Pilgrim Trail, an Aboriginal Advisory Group has been established.