Elders and Traditional Owners Share Histories and Cultures

432 schools and early learning services have added this Action to their RAP.

Have local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, and people recognised in their community as Traditional Owners, share their histories and culture in classrooms. This is a great way to enrich the learning experiences of students and children. Elders and Traditional Owners representing local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language groups are the only people who may speak with authority about the local Country.

Inviting local Elders and Traditional Owners to speak to students and staff about the histories and cultures of the area on which your [SCHOOL_TYPE] is situated will greatly enhance learning experiences. This may not be possible for every learning experience but it should be something that schools do more than just as a one-off.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and Traditional Owners are the only people who can speak with cultural authority about the Country and land on which your [SCHOOL_TYPE] is situated. It is important to remember that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples represent hundreds of different cultures and histories and as such, it can be seen as disrespectful to talk generally about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

Having an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander presence in the classroom is vital when respectfully and appropriately learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. If you have existing relationships with local Elders or Traditional Owners, consider inviting them to help with classroom-based activities just as you would with any other area of expertise.


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