Nurturing the "beginning" in protecting our traditional practices from the end: family, kinship and Kamilaroi Aboriginal First Nation knowledge in Australia
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First Nation Aboriginal Australian pedagogy incorporates a circular and non-linear notion of life. It is a philosophy that brings together ways of knowing, being, and doing that is at the very heart of self-governance and custodial obligation for the Kamilaroi First Nation Aboriginal People of Australia. This is contrary to the university setting where 'Indigenous' or 'Aboriginal' pedagogy remains in danger of becoming lost in translation with various contexts and meanings attached. Rather than custodial First Nation governance, a system of Pan-Aboriginality has prospered within the comparatively recently established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academy where it was used as a strategy in the formation of a political community. Unfortunately such positioning also resulted in every Aboriginal Australian being branded, without regard to their individuality, through stereotyped images that exist in the popular imagination. Consequently connection to traditional Aboriginal knowledge production is falling victim to stereotyped romantic visions of Aboriginal identity only being seen authentic if 'traditional' or 'remote enough'. As a result 'traditional practice' is now becoming synonymous with Whiteness. Even so, there still remains authentic Aboriginal pockets of identity connected to a traditional pedagogy of 'multi generational learning', but these lay outside of the current university setting situated within a number of individual Aboriginal communities throughout Australia. Kamilaroi is one of these communities. Traditional language acquisition remains pivotal in re-introducing new generations of Kamilaroi children to a number of ritual ceremonies throughout their lives as an ongoing process of life long learning. This is achieved via Kamilaroi knowledge production in such a way to inform decolonising methodologies seperate and unique to that of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academy.
Journal of the European Association for Studies on Australia
© 2013 Marcus Waters. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.
Race and Ethnic Relations