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So, You Want To Do Oral History With Aboriginal Australians...

By Bronwyn L. Fredericks


This paper takes as its starting point the enormous and long-standing interest in understanding historical studies with Aboriginal people. Whether motivated by curiosity, events or issues, the author argues that the outcome of this research has been that Aboriginal people are amongst the most researched people on the earth. This can become problematic when research into Aboriginal communities does not work for the benefit of Aboriginal people themselves; and so, in the words of Vine Deloria Jnr. (1991), there is a need 'to eliminate useless and repetitive research and focus on community needs; it is both unethical and wasteful to plow familiar ground continually'. Systematic ethical guidelines to undertaking research with Aboriginal people, developed over the past decades, are outlined in this paper, which then sketches an exemplary oral history project being undertaken in Queensland. Designed along ethical guidelines, the project demonstrates how historical research can be conceived and framed in ways which promote active benefits for Indigenous communities, and in this case, changing the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Topics: Aboriginal, Indigenous, Australia, Oral History, Health, Health Services, AIATSIS
Publisher: Oral History Association of Australia
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

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