HSIE: Aboriginal relationships with the land
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Indigenous - Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust - Sydney, Australia

Indigenous - Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust - Sydney, Australia | HSIE: Aboriginal relationships with the land | Scoop.it
Patrick Ell's insight:

The Royal Botanic Gardens occupy an historic area of great significant to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. For Aboriginal Australians, and particularly the Cadgial nation, the Sydney basin is profoundly sacred site, being valued as the last resting place of the Cadigal nation (Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust). In addition for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians the land marks the area of the first interactions between European settlers and the indigenous population. In recognition of the importance of this land the botanic gardens has created a specific display called Cadi Jam Ora: First Encounters. Its aim is to explore these encounters and convey Aboriginal people’s prior use of the site and their understanding of plants and the environment.  

 

I would seek to organise an excursion to the gardens in order to allow children to experience a sense of how local Aboriginal people used the land prior to first contact, but also to explore how Aboriginal people relate to the land today by involving members of the local Aboriginal community. I would seek to build a relationship with representatives of the local of the Cadigal nation prior to asking them to attend the excursion and also to build the learning outcomes intended for the children in consultation with them (NSW Board of Studies, 2008). In doing so this resource could be used to fulfil the ACARA curriculum outcomes that students should ‘explore ways of experiencing landscapes by conducting fieldwork with Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Peoples and reading listening to, or performing Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander People’s explanations of the original of particular landforms.’  I would also intend the resource to help me fulfil the NSW AITSL Graduate teaching standard 2.4 (promoting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians).

 

The excursion’s focus on how Aboriginal people used the land prior to the arrival of Europeans would also work to increase student’s knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people as the First Peoples of Australia. With the involvement of the local Aboriginal community studnets would also be able to identify ‘some significant customs, practices and traditions of their local community’ (CUS2.3).

 

 

NSW DET Aboriginal Educaiton and Training Policy, 2008.

 

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) 2013e. Draft years 3-10 Australian Curriculum Civics and Citizenship.

 

NSW Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2012.

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Peoples of the Artic

Peoples of the Artic | HSIE: Aboriginal relationships with the land | Scoop.it
Patrick Ell's insight:

This resource from the BBC provides an archive of videos, photographs and articles on the Arctic and its people. They hold a heavy emphasis on how humans live in the landscape, their use the environment to sustain their ways of life, and expressions of culture (e.g. ‘Igloo building, ‘The arrival of winter in the Arctic’, and ‘Inuit throat singing’ to name a few).

 

Students would be tasked in exploring the resources with an aim to answer the following three questions: 1) How do Arctic people rely on their environment to survive? 2) What is the relationship between Arctic people and their environment? 3) Name 3 ways in which Arctic people and Aboriginal Australians are similar, and 3 ways in which they are different?

 

Through this exercise students would be encouraged to engage with a multi-media resource to understand and explore how the landscape can dictate the needs of Indigenous people’s, but also how despite differences in landscape and environment many Indigenous people’s (and non-Indigenous) around the world share much in common. This would help work toward achieving CUS1.4 and CUES1, which focus on identifying and communicating common characteristics that all people share, as well as some of the differences.

 

In addition, and in order to make the topic more relatable, I would ask students to explore how their environment dictates their own needs, e.g. ‘What do you do when the seasons change?’ and how these compare and contrast with those of Aboriginal Australians and Arctic Peoples.

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The Land Owns Us

The Land Owns Us | HSIE: Aboriginal relationships with the land | Scoop.it

The interconnectedness of every living thing is not just an idea but a way of life.

Patrick Ell's insight:

This video was made as part of the ‘Global Oneness Project’, which is a free digital bi-monthly magazine that connects culture and ecology (http://www.globalonenessproject.org/).

 

The video presents an Aboriginal perspective on the land (provided by Bob Randall, a Yankunytjatjara elder and traditional owner of Uluru), the meaning of the land and the relationship with the land of Australian Aboriginal people. In doing so it reflects the NSW Board of Studies’ position that as custodians of their culture Aboriginal peoples should be approached to provide this expertise, and Aboriginal perspectives should be provided, where possible, by Aboriginals themselves (NSW Board of Studies, 2008).

 

The video raises a multitude of issues that I would ask students to identify and use as talking points for discussions and to prompt further inquiry. These issues include linking Aboriginal identity and the land, including the notion of ‘oneness’ with the land, cultural responsibility and conservation of the land, and resource management.

  

I would use the resource to highlight that for Aboriginal Australians fundamental to the principle of identity is the entwined and unique relationship between them and the land. Huggins (2007) states that the ‘fight of indigenous people today for their lands and waters is a struggle for the right maintain their identity…without identity deculturalisation is guaranteed along with dispossession and dispersal.” I would use this notion to introduce discussion around the right of Aboriginal people to have ownership of the representation of their relationship with the land given that ‘representation of one’s own people, identity and culture, are crucial elements of self-determination.’ (Janke, 2003. P. 94).

 

Therefore, while primarily used to introduce and explore Aboriginal’s relationship with the land, it also works to build the foundations for future discussions about land rights, custodianship, and self-determination. The goal of engaging with this resource is that it can have broad repercussions by helping to deepen student’s understanding of Indigenous cultures and ‘enrich their ability to participate positively in the ongoing development of Australia’ (ACARA 2013a).

 

Janke, T. 2003. Issues Paper: Toward a protocol for filmmakers working with Indigenous content and Indigenous communities. Australia Film Commission, Sydney, NSW.

 

Huggins, J. 2007 The Gift of Identity. Queensland Studies Authority, Brisbane.

 

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) 2013e. Draft years 3-10 Australian Curriculum Civics and Citizenship.

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The Rainbow Serpent - YouTube

Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories, Story by Dick Roughsey, Narrration by David Gulpilil, Soundtrack by Andrew Vial Photographed and edited by Alexander Cochran, A...
Patrick Ell's insight:

The creation myth of the Rainbow Serpent, which is embedded in Aboriginal culture as part of the dreamtime stories, provides a significant insight into the foundations of Aboriginal relationships with the land. This video provides an animated version of the Rainbow Serpent story narrated by the well known Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil.

 

The video and story make clear how closely intertwined Aboriginals are with the land and everything in it. It is revealed how in the Aboriginal view our environment, its plants, animals and people, are creations of the land, by the land. It carries an explicit message of responsibility and conservation in regards to the environment. It states the view that humans, animals, plants and the landscape are interwoven, originated of the same story, and the humans of today are linked to those of the past and the future as custodians of all the elements of life.

 

I would use this resource to engage students with the concept that Aboriginal relationships with the land are both old and embedded in traditional stories, but are also contemporary and ongoing. It is an important point to ensure young Australians understand that although the foundations for Aboriginal relationships with the land may be ancient, their relevance remains. I would provide students with a worksheet which has on it stills from the video depicting the ‘major scenes’. Students would be asked to summarise in their own words the story underneath each picture. This would encourage them to listen and watch closely, as well as interpret what they are seeing and hearing, and thereby provide me with an opportunity to monitor and assess their understanding.

 

Overall the video would be a useful tool for students to engage with Aboriginal dreaming stories as a reflection of the creation of Australia (CCES1), and as they progress through the stages to learn about dreaming and its part in Aboriginal People’s relationship to the land as they ‘listen to Aboriginal stories and songs and views Aboriginal artworks and dance.’ (CUS1.3). 

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Identifying Aboriginal Sites

Identifying Aboriginal Sites | HSIE: Aboriginal relationships with the land | Scoop.it
Patrick Ell's insight:

The archaeological history of the Sydney Basin is rich and well documented. The Aboriginal Heritage Office is a rich resource for both teachers and students when it comes to exploring and understanding historical Aboriginal relationships to the land. There are over 1000 archaeological sites across North Sydney, Lane Cove, Willoughby, Manly, Warringah, Ku-ring-gai, Pittwater and Ryde. As such there is likely to be an archaeological site within a reasonable distance from many areas of Sydney. In particular these sites provide significant evidence on how Aboriginal people used the land prior to colonisation and are a valuable link with traditional Aboriginal culture.

 

I would seek to the use the resource in two ways. Firstly, as a resource for myself as a teacher. Being a foreigner and having some archaeological training in a previous degree this resource would be a great way gain insight into Aboriginal history and provide a context for Aboriginal relationships with the land, and how these have evolved or changed over time. The Heritage Office offers guided talks and walks, and I would seek to make links with the Office in order to enhance my own knowledge. Pedagogical content knowledge, as highlighted by Loughran (2013), Hollins (2011) and many others, is vital for teachers to be able to relate subject matter to students in meaningful ways to enhance their learning.

 

I would seek to use this resource to familiarise myself with the subject matter, but also as a means to plan excursions for students. In this way I would use the resource as a means to ‘teach the content as more than propositional knowledge’ so that for the students the ‘subject matter becomes meaningful and useable’ (Loughran, 2013). In doing so I would help myself fulfil the NSW AITSL Graduate teaching standard 2.1, which includes ensuring adequate content knowledge when developing teaching strategies. For students the archaeological sites and fieldtrips would be used to help them recognise ‘Aboriginal peoples as the first Australians’ (CUS.1.1) and to gather information about Aboriginal peoples that lived/live in their community’ (CUS1.2).

 

Loughran, J. 2010. Pedagogy: Making sense of the complex relationship between teaching and learning. University of Toronto. Wiley Periodicals.

 

Hollins, E. 2011. Teacher Preparation for Quality Teaching, in Journal of Teacher Educaiton. 62: 395-407

 

NSW Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2012.

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