Sharing First Nations culture with your jarjums this NAIDOC Week

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NAIDOC Week is time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history, and achievements.  And you are invited to join the fun!

Communities across Australia are planning events for everyone to share in the celebration and reflect on this year’s theme of Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

The NAIDOC website has a calendar of events, a copy of the poster to download and colour, and information about the importance of NAIDOC Week for First Nations people. Ask at your public library or Indigenous Knowledge Centre for more information on NAIDOC events in your local community.

You and your child can have fun learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander cultures every day.  Here are a few ideas to try:

Read

  • Share books with your child written and illustrated by First Nations people. Ask your public library or Indigenous Knowledge Centre for books suited to your child’s age. Try these ones at home, or ask for a copy at your library:
  • When sharing stories, discuss things which are the same “this little boy has a sister, just like you” and different “this little girl lives in the desert, where do you live?”
  • Explain new words in the story “this word is tucker, let’s look at the picture and see if you can find some tucker” and language words “this word is jarjum. It means children in the Yugambeh language”
  • Show your child positive role models from other cultures. Our Home Our Heartbeat by Adam Briggs is a colourful children’s book about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legends from the past, present … and emerging.

Talk - Yarn

  • Talk about similarities and differences openly and respectfully. Children are often curious about differences like skin and hair colour. It is okay for them to notice these differences, and you can be honest and positive in your response “Yes, everyone’s skin is a different colour. Mark’s skin is dark, and your skin is light. You both love to ride bikes, don’t you?”
  • Teach your child a new Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander word for hello with these language word lists
  • Listen to stories and yarns from mob across Australia with Little Yarns. This podcast introduces children to language and the sounds of Country from the Torres Strait to the deserts to the rainforests.

Sing

  • Children love to sing and dance to a variety of music. Listening to both traditional and contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island music can interest both of you. Try these lullabies in Aboriginal languages just before bedtime.

Play

  • invite family and friends to play a traditional Aboriginal game. Yulunga has games for all ages, including Brajerack, a traditional version of Hide and Seek.

As a parent or carer, you are your child’s most influential teacher. Celebrating First Nations culture during NAIDOC Week and beyond is one way you can teach your jarjums to appreciate cultural diversity, be interested in the world around them and develop empathy for others.  It also helps to build stronger, inclusive communities.  And that is good for all of us.

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