The Aboriginal community is the oldest existing culture throughout the world. The Indigenous tribes have ways of managing their land and community to ensure sustainability and good health. The indigenous people of Australia, i.e., Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander have lived in Australia for almost 60,000 years within which there hasn't been contacting, cross-cultural exchange or knowledge transfer between them and the outside world (Evans, 2017). The early contact happened about 600 years ago starting with Indonesia. Later on, Europeans made contact through sharing technology. It also resulted in adverse impact as diseases were introduced. In 1768 Colonialization started up to1890. There were protection and segregation up to the 1950s, assimilation and reconciliation were achieved in 2000 (Dudgeon, Wright, Paradies, Garvey, & Walker 2010). The effects of this today concerns the emotional impact on the Aboriginal community due to their experiences and their families' experiences - separation of children from their parents at a young age. There's also an evident block to acquiring survival skills and mistrust of institutions.
The kinship and familial structure of the Aboriginal people act as cohesive forces that bind them. These forces give emotional support (Dudgeon et al., 2010). The Aboriginal family comprised of a collaboration of clans that included mothers, fathers, uncles, aunties' cousins, etc. They had extended families in place of nuclear families which they do not recognize. They attribute low value on material things and support and discipline and training for children- they are permissive, and there's no regulated development. The indigenous tribes rather, place essence on the expression of warmth, affection, and acceptance. Childcare responsibility is shared, i.e., they are fed and given shelter by different people for a certain period before the aunt or grandmother is assigned responsibility to bring them up. Kinship responsibility is an obligation of a separate tier of people that are recognized as effective kin when close relatives fail in their duty to accommodate and provide care. Elders are a bridge between then and now. They give guidance about the future by passing essential traditions, skills, knowledge, and experiences. These Indigenous communities hold strong family values whereby child upbringing, care, education, and discipline is the responsibility of everyone (Markham & Biddle, 2016). As Wadjularbinna once stated "all individuals with the same skin grouping as my mother are my mothers and have equal right, the same as my mother, to look after me, to control my actions, making sure that I do right. It's an extended family thing. It's a wonderful secure system" (Harris-Short, 2016).
Having occupied Australia for about 60,000 years, the Aboriginal and Torres Islander communities hold a deep spiritual connection to their place. Separating the people from the land is impossible. They view it as their mother, one who gives life and provides everything they need. The Aboriginal lore developed by spiritual ancestors was tasked with taking care of the land and people (Munns et al., 2013). Ever since, ceremonies were carried out through and through the landscapes for appeasement and to maintain a balance between nature, land, and dwellers within the property. The dispossession of land that occurred with the invasion of Europeans was an overall infringement and destruction of cultural beliefs which annihilated traditional teachings. It also led to the loss of languages, ceremonies, songs and showed disrespect for elders. The dignity and pride of these indigenous communities were lost. All of these happenings have an emotional effect on the present remnants.
The implications of the invasion of Torres Islanders and Aboriginal communities were that they were left at a disadvantage of gaining living skills and exerted white privilege. The Torres lived in small communities and relied heavily on hunting, fishing and crop farming. In a survey conducted by Western Sydney University, concerning racism and prejudice it was found that out of five indigenous Australians, one had experienced racism in the past 12 months. It established that two-thirds of Torres and Aboriginal reported incidents of name calling and being treated with mistrust and disrespect. Research indicates that racism rates have catapulted in the past decade with more than half of indigenous Australians had experienced racism at their workplaces, schools, and institutions of higher learning as well as restaurants and shops. About 60% have endured racism on public transport. These experiences stood at 25% more than bigotry against non-Aboriginal and Torres Islander individuals. Such experiences affect their past, their present, and future including education experiences (Perkins, 2007). There is an urgent need for policy reforms in this regard. There should also be campaigns against anti-indigenous attitudes and more opportunities offered to indigenous communities in any setting.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a discourse narrative of health and well being. More often than not, the language, statements, documents, rules, and conditions that govern the production are called out as being deficient (Krakouer, 2015). Research related to health has been of little aid to improving the health of Australian Indigenous communities. In research publications that reflect on colonial history and other racial discourses, their concerns have been largely overlooked. With the evolvement in politics through pressure by Aboriginal and Torres people and organization, there are significant changes (McDonald, 2003). Central to this is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers and organizations with control and directing health research to meet their needs better. The investigation into the Indigenous communities continues to make a critical contribution to increasing health and wellness of both Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians.
My approach as a future teacher of indigenous children towards ensuring the best educational experience is rooted in the guides provided by Classroom without borders being the objective party. I will strive to create an environment of calm for all students, teach and emphasize the respect of every student's beliefs and backgrounds. In place of just using textbooks and scripted lesson plans, I will begin and encourage the interaction of all elements involved, me, the learners, and the materials. In this way, while having albeit lesser control students will gain a deeper understanding of various cultures and earn respect for each.
I'd also organize as part of class extra-curricular activities festivals to appreciate different cultures after exchanging ideas in class. To further this agenda, speakers of indigenous descent will be invited to talk to the class. Visits to a local museum will also cultivate appropriate attitudes and a sincere appreciation for culture among the students. Involvement in artwork, musical instruments, involvement in festivals brings learning to life.
I would teach my students about the various organizations that fight for social justice. Many times, I'll propel conversations concerning racism and multiple techniques of conflict resolution. That ought to enable students to achieve common ground in solving cultural misunderstandings. I'd create opportunities to examine and correct how students have been socialized to think about others cultures e.tc.
All students in my class will be accorded equal treatment. If there is an exchange of adverse comments in my presence concerning a student's culture corrective measures will be undertaken. First, by explaining the importance of the particular norm and secondly, giving an illustration of another culture equivalent to that one and sensitizing the need for peaceful co-existence. I will take a firm stand against racism (Markham & Biddle, 2016).
I will educate students on race-related issues that happened in the past and their implications on the present using engaging methods like presentations (Sarra, 2003). The textbooks I use for reference in class will be a mixture which features some different races. I will pioneer the formation of student clubs that are specifically dedicated to reducing racism. The following can be achieved by making publications educating people about the detrimental effects of racism.
Dudgeon, P., Wright, M., Paradies, Y., Garvey, D., & Walker, I. (2010). The social, cultural and historical context of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice, 25-42.Evans, R. (2017). Timothy Bottoms. Djabugay Country: An Aboriginal History of Tropical North Queensland. St Leonard's, NSW: ADen and Unwin, 1999. 138+ xxii pp.-ERRATUM. Queensland Review, 24(1), 172-172.Harris-Short, S. (2016). Aboriginal child welfare, self-government and the rights of Indigenous children: Protecting the vulnerable under international law. Routledge.Krakouer, J. (2015). Literature review relating to the current context and discourse on Indigenous cultural awareness in the teaching space: Critical pedagogies and improving Indigenous learning outcomes through cultural responsiveness.
Markham, F., & Biddle, N. (2016). Income poverty and inequality. Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research Research School of Social Sciences College of Arts & Social Sciences The Australian National University, Census Paper No. 2. doi:10.1787/9789264246034-graph25-en
McDonald, H. (2003). Exploring possibilities through critical face theory: exemplary pedagogical practices for Indigenous students.Munns, G., O'Rourke, V., & Bodkin-Andrews, G. (2013). Seeding success: Schools that work for Aboriginal students. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 42(1), 1-11.
Perkins, M. (Ed.). (2007). Visibly different: face, place and race in Australia (Vol. 2). Peter Lang.
Sarra, C. (2003). Young and black and deadly: Strategies for improving outcomes for Indigenous students. Australian College of Educators.
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