There is no time like the end of year holiday, when we've really slowed down for the year, to learn more deeply about the Country we live on. With the amount of turmoil that this year has brought and the important focus on the Black Lives Matter movements in the face of COVID-19, learning about and connecting with Indigenous culture is a great way to keep the movement alive and do our bit these holidays.
You don't need to go far because there are a variety of different ways to connect in your own town (or without leaving your house) and hey, you might (almost definitely) learn a cool thing or two in the process!
Many of us have finished up work for the year and are ready to relax, read a book, watch a show or spend time doing literally anything but work. There are ways we can do this while learning more about the land and the Traditional Owners!
Next time you go to look for a book, reach for something written by an Indigenous person or community. Consuming media made by Indigenous people offers a different perspective and supports diversity in the arts. We want to support and uplift these communities, not burden them. Introducing a variety of voices into your social media feeds and doing research when things come up that you aren't too familiar with will help you do this and encounter new ideas and perspectives. Indigenous cultures are some of the oldest living cultures in the world. The stories and history of the traditional owners of the land are integral in helping us to connect with the land.
Here are a few books written by First Nations People:
- Sand Talk
- Dark Emu
- The Tall Man: Life and Death on Palm Island
- The Yield
- Fire Country
- Talking to my Country
Talk to your local bookstore or library to find out about any Indigenous writers in your area!
There's an abundance of lists out there if you're not sure where to start: This list of 10 films made by Native American filmmakers, this list compiled for International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples or this selection of Indigenous-made films by filmmakers from diverse Nations across Canada
If you're thinking about getting outside for a little fresh air during the holidays, consider booking an Indigenous-led walking tour. Indigenous tourism includes activities such as art exhibitions, artistic and cultural performances. There are tours focusing on different aspects such as native bush tucker tours and rock art walks. There is an experience for everyone!
"Country is not just a beautiful place, to us it is everything," says Juan Walker from Walkabout Cultural Adventures. "It holds out stories, our religion, our customs and our ancestors."
Finding a walking tour (sometimes they run in national parks) close to home will give you insight into the place you spend most of your time. This is a great resource for finding Indigenous-led experiences if you are in Australia.
Whatever you decide to do this holiday, there are plenty of ways to learn about and connect with Indigenous culture. The more we all do this, the future of the environment will be in better hands.