The theme for 2021’s NAIDOC Week has just been announced as ‘Heal Country’, and it’s never been so relevant.
This year NAIDOC Week will be celebrated July 4th-11th, with the theme ‘Heal Country’ shaping the events of the week, after what’s been a tumultuous year for Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations when it comes to the sanctity of Country.
The theme ‘Heal Country’ urges Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians alike to fight for the protection of Indigenous culture and Country, against desecration, exploitation, and destruction.
In May 2020, Australia saw the destruction of two 46,000 year old rock shelters at Jukkan Gorge in the West Pilbara by mining giant Rio Tinto. It’s been revealed that Rio Tinto blew up the gorge in order to access an additional $135 million in iron ore, knowingly against the wishes of the Traditional Owners, the Puttu, Kunti Kurrama, and Pinikura peoples.
In October 2020, the controversial Djab Wurrung tree, also known as the directions tree, was cut down after months of peaceful protest, in order to continue the upgrade of the Western Highway in rural Victoria.
The theme ‘Heal Country’ nods to these events and encourages all Australians to ‘embrace First Nations’ cultural knowledge and understanding of Country as part of Australia’s national heritage’.
Want to know more? Read: 5 Ways to Connect With Aboriginal Culture This NAIDOC Week
Feature photo courtesy of Djab Warrung Embassy