51 research outputs found

    Indigenous identities and the politics of authenticity

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    The very question of Indigenous authenticity, as Jeffrey Sissons reminds us, ‘‘…has deep roots within colonial racism’’ (2005, 43). Racialisation and the practice of creating and imbuing racial categories with seemingly impermeable boundaries and indestructible meanings has, after all, underpinned a range of colonial practices from the systematic alienation of Indigenous land and resources to child abduction. Regimes of biological and cultural authenticity continue to shape state policies and practices that regulate the everyday lives of Indigenous people around the world. Indeed, in some contexts, expectations of Indigenous cultural purity or environmental naturalness exist alongside the imposition of varying degrees of blood quantum as criteria for citizenship, political recognition and access to resources and services

    12 deadly Indigenous Australian social media users to follow

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    Indigenous Australia\u27s diverse memorialisation of the dead

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    Beliefs and ceremonies associated with death in Indigenous Australia are diverse. Death and the deceased are sacred to Indigenous Australians and ceremonies differ between communities. They may involve lengthy ceremonies lasting several days with strict protocols around language, names, images and other possessions. Alternatively deaths might be marked by funerals that can include images and speaking the deceased person’s name, performances and other tributes

    Well-connected Indigenous kids keen to tap new ways to save lives

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    Tony Abbott is spending this week in North-East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories does the PM need to hear while he’s in the Top End? Two things are part of the everyday reality of life for many Australian kids, teens and 20-somethings. One is their avid use of social media to connect with friends and share their feelings via status updates, spending hours glued to their mobile phones. But, sadly, too often the other everyday reality is self-harm and suicide. More than anyone else, that’s particularly true for Indigenous Australians. Young Indigenous Australians are enthusiastic users of social media, spending about 20% more time on social media than other Australians their age. Tragically, they also live with a far higher risk of youth suicide. Suicide rates in Indigenous communities have been increasing over the past few decades. In some communities the suicide rates are among the highest in the world – with most of those deaths being young people under 29. While there can be downsides to social media, such as the potential for kids to be bullied or subject to racist abuse, my research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identity and Community Online highlights the potential for social media to provide a strong sense of community and support for young people. As one participant in my research says: “We can’t undervalue these sorts of virtual communities that we set up.” Through posting their thoughts and feelings, or directly reaching out to others, participants said they felt supported by their online network

    The ‘new frontier’: Emergent Indigenous identities and social media

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    The rapid rise in the use of social media as a means of cultural and social interaction among Aboriginal people and groups is an intriguing development. It is a phenomenon that has not yet gained traction in academia, although interest is gaining momentum as it becomes apparent that the use of social media is becoming an everyday, typical activity. In one episode of Living Black (an Australian television show featuring stories of interest to Indigenous people) entitled ‘‘Cyber Wars’’ (April 19th, 2010), several Aboriginal people commented on their Facebook use. Allan Clarke, one of the Aboriginal Facebook users featured, stated that, ‘‘It’s an intrinsic part of our daily routine….’’ My recently completed doctoral research52 reveals that Aboriginal people are active participants on social media sites and in particular on Facebook. In the course of my study, I conducted a content analysis of open Facebook pages that are popular with Aboriginal users, and being an avid Facebook user myself, I was able to navigate through many open pages and explore the activities taking place. In terms of self-representation, the findings from my research reveal that Facebook is becoming a popular vehicle amongst Aboriginal people, to build, display, and perform Aboriginal identities (Lumby 2010). Many Aboriginal Facebook users treat this site as a key self-representational tool to communicate their Aboriginal identity to other social media users in online communities (generally other Aboriginal people or Aboriginal groups)

    Towards cultural competence in the justice sector

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    This paper: 1) explores good practice principles for the development and implementation of cultural competence training (CCT) programs in the justice sector, and 2) reports on CCT activities currently being conducted in the justice sector

    It\u27s like going to a cemetery and lighting a candle: Aboriginal Australians, sorry business and social media

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    Death and funeral practices are a constant presence in many Aboriginal Australians’ lives— research in some communities found they are eight times more likely to have attended a funeral in the previous 2 years than non- Aboriginal people. This can be explained by two major factors: inordinately high rates of Aboriginal mortality and cultural practices around death (broadly referred to as Sorry Business). Research in other contexts has found traditions once reserved solely for face- to- face interactions are now also taking place online on social media. This paper draws from interviews conducted with Aboriginal social media users from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia to explore new cultural expressions of Sorry Business. Drawing from Indigenous standpoint theory as both an entry point for inquiry and a tool for analysis, this paper demonstrates that Aboriginal people participate in a diverse range of online practices related to Sorry Business, including notifi cations of deaths and funerals, offering condolences and extending support, and grieving and healing

    Indigenous Studies and the Politics of Language

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    Language use changes over time. In Indigenous contexts, language alters to suit the shifting nature of cultural expression as this might fit with Indigenous peoples’ preference or as a consequence of changes to outdated and colonial modes of expression. For students studying in the discipline of Indigenous Studies, learning to use appropriate terminology in written and oral expression can be a source of anxiety. In this paper, we consider how providing insight into the political nature of language can help students to be mindful and to understand that systems of naming have a political impact on those being named and those doing the naming. This paper reflects the views and experiences of teaching staff at the Indigenous Studies Unit (ISU) in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Wollongong. It comes from our teaching experience, and from discussions with staff and students over the past few years that have conveyed to us a continuing anxiety about language use
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