Articles on Indigenous people

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Detail from Percy Leason, Thomas Foster, 1934, oil on canvas, 76.0 x 60.8 cm, State Library Victoria, Melbourne. Gift of Mrs Isabelle Leason, 1969 (H32094) © Max Leason

Friday essay: painting ‘The Last Victorian Aborigines’

Anthropologist Percy Leason thought he was painting the extinction of Victoria's Indigenous people in the 1930s. He was wrong, but his portraits, part of a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, are surprisingly sympathetic.
The so-called ‘prison tree’: over time, myth has coalesced into a ‘fact’ for which there is no evidence. Author provided

Dark tourism, Aboriginal imprisonment and the ‘prison tree’ that wasn’t

There is no evidence to support the marketing of an ancient boab in Western Australia as a tree that once held Aboriginal prisoners. The story is a myth that elides the tree's deep significance to Indigenous people.
Indigenous games like ‘Honour Water’ can teach Indigenous values and ceremonial practices. Honour Water/Elizabeth LaPensée

Video games encourage Indigenous cultural expression

A strengthening movement of Indigenous designers and developers is working to show Indigenous cultures, teachings, languages and ways of knowing through video games.
An activist at a protest rally at the White House against the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines in Washington, D.C. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Why is water sacred to Native Americans?

For the Blackfeet, Lakota and other Native American people, water does more than sustain life – it's the place of the divine.
People have camped in the long grass since colonisation. From this perspective, bans on the practice are a denial of Indigenous agency, culture and rights to country. Photo: K. Pollard

Contested spaces: the ‘long-grassers’, living private lives in public places

In contrast to perceptions of other homeless people sleeping rough, Darwin's "long-grassers" are applying a long cultural tradition to deal with the situation in which they find themselves.
On expedition with Norman Tindale and local Aboriginal group at a rock shelter at Bathurst Head (Thartali) in eastern Cape York Peninsula, 1927. Photo by Herbert Hale/South Australian Museum, Archives Norman Tindale Collection (AA 338/5/4/41)

DNA reveals Aboriginal people had a long and settled connection to country

Aboriginal people stayed settled in places across Australia for 50,000 years until Europeans arrived, showing a strong connection with the land.
One way teachers can respect culture is by embedding it into ‘mainstream’ subjects. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Back to school – understanding challenges faced by Indigenous children

Teachers – get to really know your kids, their families, their community and its history, and what’s going on at home. While school policies are important, relationships are the real keys to success.
A march in Perth on Australia Day this year in support of Indigenous people. Angie Raphael/AAP

Changing the date – and a state of mind – from the westerly edges

Changing the date of Australia Day celebrations – as the City of Fremantle has done – is a move towards a less racist future. And when it comes to challenging insularity, there are other positive signs in Western Australia.

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