12 June 2014

How to Celebrate NAIDOC Week at School

NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. It was created to 'increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians' (cited from the NAIDOC website).

Put more simply, NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society. With frequent negative media attention, it's important that we take time to celebrate all the rich culture and knowledge Indigenous people can share with us if we choose to listen.

During NAIDOC week, all Australians are encouraged to participate in celebrations and activities relating to Indigenous culture. Here are some ideas taken from the NAIDOC website published by the Australian Government. http://www.naidoc.org.au/

  • Invite local Indigenous people to your school or workplace to share their knowledge about the land. They may be able to teach you about the local flora and fauna and even show you some edible plants growing right on your doorstep.

  • Listen to Indigenous music.

  • Research the traditional Indigenous owners of your area.

  •  Learn some Indigenous words

  • Study Aboriginal arts and crafts.

  • Read a Dreamtime story.

  • Visit local Indigenous sites of significance or interest.

  • Learn the meanings of local or national Aboriginal place names.

  • Invite an Indigenous sportsperson or artist to visit your school/community group and get them to teach you new skills

  • One of the suggestions was to research a famous Indigenous person which is what I'll be doing with my Year 3 students tomorrow. I have created a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation that features various Indigenous people who have may significant contributions towards shaping Australia in some way. Slides include 'kid-friendly' descriptions of sports people, artists, role models, inventors and local and national decision makers. Although it is intended for children, if you cannot think of 5 famous Indigenous people off the top of your head, perhaps you could learn a thing or two. After all, it is NAIDOC week!

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