Whether on January 26th or any other day of the year, it’s always a good time to learn more about people who have been the Traditional Custodians of these lands and waters since time immermorial.

Australia’s supremely fortunate to be home to the world’s longest surviving and continuing cultures. Unfortunately, these cultures and the Aboriginal people who uphold them are not very well celebrated, appreciated, and understood by non-Aboriginal people, to the detriment of everyone.

Although Aboriginal people are often supportive of sharing culture, there are plenty of ways individuals can begin to educate themselves on the history of First Nation’s people, as well as the multitude of issues, perspectives, and nuances that are involved in living on stolen land, without burdening Aboriginal people.

We’ve compiled some resources to help get you started on your journey to better understanding and supporting Aboriginal people and culture, today and every day.

1. Add the Voices of Aboriginal People to Your Feed

By consciously following more accounts of Aboriginal people, businesses, and organisations, you’re supporting diversity, and more importantly, hearing and listening to these voices on a daily basis.

By simply exposing yourself to these voices and listening to what they have to say, your perspectives and understanding of First Nation’s people will broaden and change.

From businesses and organisations to musicians and activists, these are some of our favourite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander based accounts; 

Media

@abcindigenous
@nitv_au
Blackfulla Revolution
National Indigenous Times
Koori Mail

People

@coffinbirth
@_enterthedragon_
@nayukagayuka
@place_names_in_addresses
@nakkiah
@senatorbriggs
@sar.ra
@balaluke
@boneybrooke
@barkaa_
@drmngnow

Organisations

@democracyincolour
@naidocweek
@seedmob
@aimementoring
@reconciliationaus
@blakbusiness
@oursonglines
@ulurustatement
@commongroundaustralia
@indigenousliteracyfoundation
Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council
@uprisingofthepeople

2. Research and Reflect on the History of the Land You Live on

What country do you live on? On what land do you work and play and come from? 

Australia is made up of over 250 Aboriginal countries, each with their own Traditional Custodians, Dreamtime stories, and customs. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies has one of the most comprehensive maps of Indigenous Australia. 

 

 

Discover the Aboriginal land you live on and learn about the Traditional Custodians, past, present, and emerging. 

Live in Sydney? The Australian Museum has an extensive list of Indigenous names for the suburbs and locations around the city. What’s the Indigenous name for your home?

If you’re living in another major city, this NITV article is a good place to start.

Take a bushwalk in your local area, or somewhere you’ve never visited before and reflect on what’s taken place on this Country before you stepped foot there. 

Head out in a small group, or by yourself, walk slowly, drink in the sights and sounds, and consider the significance of this land to its Traditional Custodians. Spend a day reflecting in nature, rather than on a high energy adventure.

3. Take an Aboriginal Cultural Tour

Combine your endless compulsion to get outside with cultural and historical education. 

Discover your hometown from a whole new perspective, or deep dive into an entirely fresh environment and soak up the local Indigenous knowledge and learn about Aboriginal connection to the land. 

Not sure where to find a cultural tour near you? We know a few.

Discover Aboriginal Cultural Tours

 

Here’s Where You Can Find Aboriginal Cultural Tours in Australia, Photo by DNSW, Port Stephens, culture, sand dunes

Photo by DNSW

4. Listen to Aboriginal Artists and Podcasts

Plugging into a First Nations podcast is a great way to let these issues passively take up your brain space, whether you’re driving, taking a walk, or doing the dishes.

Looking for something a little more upbeat? Spotify has an epic Blak Australia playlist to help you uncover some deadly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians. 

 

5. Buy Something From an Aboriginal Business or Make a Donation

There are few actions that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as directly as cash. 

Whether you make a direct donation to a First Nations charity that resonates with you, or find a damn fine pair of earrings, piece of art, or T-shirt from an Aboriginal business, spending your money in support of Aboriginal people shows your solidarity. 

Supply Nation is Australia’s leading database of Indigenous businesses, and you can find more through Blak Business

Can’t find what you’re looking for there? Maybe these businesses are more your style.

6. Learn What Happened on Jan 26th 1788 and The Frontier Wars

There are plenty of misunderstandings about what exactly happened that fateful day in 1788, and throughout the decades that followed. 

Battles and wars that took place on Australian soil are so often glossed over in the Australian history curriculum if they’re mentioned at all.

This online resource from NITV outlines the details of the Frontier Wars, and the Frontier War Stories podcast hosted by Gamilaraay & Kooma man Boe Spearmin chats through the history and stories in audio form. 

7. Read a Book Written by First Nations People

Immerse yourself in a book for the day. Whether fiction or non-fiction, First Nations books are full of meaning, history, and culture. 

These are some of our faves:

  • Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta
  • Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
  • The Tall Man: Life and Death on Palm Island by Chloe Hooper
  • The Yield by Tara June Winch
  • Fire Country: How Indigenous Fire Management Could Help Save Australia by Victor Steffensen
  • Talking to my Country by Stan Grant
  • Loving Country: A Sacred Guide to Australia by Bruce Pascoe

8. Listen to and Learn Aboriginal Languages

The 50 Words Project is also helping keep Aboriginal languages alive and accessible. Through the use of an interactive map, you’re able to explore the different language groups of Australia and listen to 50 common words and phrases, spoken in traditional language. 

This resource is constantly being added to and updated by native speakers, however many languages have sadly already been lost. 

If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, maybe the comprehensive map from First Languages Australia will help.

 

Feature photo thanks to @lexcello