Culture

While old Indigenous languages disappear, new ones evolve

By now we know that traditional Indigenous languages are losing speakers rapidly and tragically. Of the 250 languages once spoken in Australia, only 40 remain and just 18 of these are still learnt by children. But if children in remote Indigenous communities aren't still learning traditional languages, then what are they learning? It is generally assumed they are shifting to English, but this is not the case. - Article by Felicity Meakins from The University of Queensland [node:read-more:link]

'Speaking with one voice' – WA's changes to Aboriginal Heritage law rejected at bush meetings

Written Dr Stephen Bennetts, who is a consultant anthropologist that has worked with Aboriginal people in Northern Australia since 1994

Be careful what you pray for. By proposing to strip away protection for Aboriginal people's heritage across the board, and throughout the State, the Barnett Government appears to have unwittingly conjured up a strong, united and angry Aboriginal coalition which is now mobilising against the AHA amendments.

Written Dr Stephen Bennetts, who is a consultant anthropologist that has worked with Aboriginal people in Northern Australia since 1994. [node:read-more:link]

Race to protect Australia's rock art from mining, graffiti and feral animals

Split Rock Gallery on Cape York

Half the country's rock paintings – some dating back 30,000 years – could disappear within 50 years, experts warn. Oliver Milman meets the Indigenous rangers and researchers working to protect delicate sandstone from the triple threat of mining, graffiti and feral animals.

It's a race to protect Australia's most ancient treasures. For the traditional owners of land near the remote town of Laura, a four-hour drive north-west of Cairns, Far North Queensland, the job is essential – and urgent. [node:read-more:link]

First Nations languages won’t survive if kids are learning only English

Jane Simpson writes that Indigenous languages won't survive if First Nations kids don't have the opportunity to speak their native languages at school. Ms Simpson is the Chair of Indigenous Linguistics and Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language at Australian National University asks the question of what language(s) to teach Indigenous students, what languages to teach them in, and how to go about it has been generating a little political heat (but not quite so much light) of late. [node:read-more:link]

The First Race: Out-of-*Australia, Not Africa!

Mungo Man - The history of mankind

The First Nations peoples of the continent now called Australia were not ignorant savages stagnating in their primitive inadequacies and laziness, as the British invaders have been maintaining and indeed teaching for the past 230 years.

Archaeologist's findings together with scientific analogy is now pointing towards the history of these people as the beginning of what is known as 'modern man' in this region, at least. [node:read-more:link]

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