Celebrating NAIDOC Week – Readilearn

This week, from 2 – 9 July, is NAIDOC Week in Australia with celebrations occurring all around the country. The purpose of the week is to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Islander Peoples and acknowledge their contributions to our country. The acronym NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.

The theme of this year’s celebration is Our Languages Matter. When Europeans first arrived in Australia a little more than 200 years ago, more than 250 Indigenous languages were in use across the land. As the languages were spoken, not written, many of these languages have been erased. Fewer than half that number remain, and many of the young people are no longer familiar with the language of their ancestors.

According to the NAIDOC website,

“The 2017 theme – Our Languages Matter – aims to emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that Indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.”

This article in the Conversation provides a little more information about Australian Indigenous languages and the Dreaming.

By now, NAIDOC Week celebrations are almost over, and most Australian school children are enjoying their mid-year break. However, many teachers will be looking for ways to share the celebrations with their students when school resumes. As any time is a good time to incorporate learning about Indigenous culture and history, in this post, I provide links

Continue reading: Celebrating NAIDOC Week – Readilearn

14 thoughts on “Celebrating NAIDOC Week – Readilearn

  1. Sarah Brentyn

    I love this! (I think you knew I would.) Sorry it took so long to find it. This is remarkable. And, you know, as I’m typing this, I’m realizing it shouldn’t be remarkable. It should be common. Just the way things are. The whole world needs to celebrate history and culture. Not to mention acknowledging peoples’ contributions to their country. (I will say what IS remarkable is that there were 250 languages! Wow.) Fantastic post.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Sarah, I’m pleased you enjoyed the post when you found it. It is remarkable that there were so many languages, and a tragedy that so many were lost. I’m pleased that moves are being made to find ways of keeping alive those remaining.

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        1. Norah Post author

          I wonder what he’ll think of it. Sadly, the loss has occurred because the languages were oral, living languages, not recorded.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Anne, Thank you very much for linking to Clare O’Dea’s post about the One River Voices. I love it! We need more of these things. What a moving song. As you said in your comment there, it harks back to the 60s. Is that part of its appeal?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. D. Wallace Peach

    Lovely to learn about this celebration, Norah. I love it when countries respect and celebrate all aspects of diversity and identity and the people who make up their collective heritage. I wish the US would do the same. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Patricia Tilton

    Wow, I didn’t realize that there were 250 many indigenous languages spoken.That is shocking about how long the British government refused to acknowledge the culture as people. It’s heartbreaking to me how we have done this worldwide to so many different indigenous cultures. I’m glad to know that you now have a week-long celebration of your indigenous cultures. So educational for children. We still have a long way to go in North America.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I think we all have a long way to go. The realisation has been slow to grow, and even slower to be enacted. At least things are starting to change, but attitudes are so deep-rooted. Education of our children is the way forward.

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      Reply
  4. Book Club Mom

    Nice to read about other countries’ national holidays. Local languages are so important and are a special tie to culture. I had no idea there were so many indigenous languages once spoken in Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Barbara. The number of languages is amazing, isn’t it? So sad for their loss. I’m pleased that steps are being made to save those still existing, but like many things, it’s too little too late.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      It is shocking. Much of the world is still in recovery. 1967 is very recent. We have come a long way since then, but still a long way to go. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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