Indigenous culture

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Magnolia Maymuru, who hails from the remote community of Yirrkala. George Fragopoulos/Miss World Australia

Can Aboriginal beauty break through the colour bar?

Magnolia Maymuru, the Northern Territory's representative at the Miss World national finals, is a trailblazer. But will she escape the racialised exoticism that has long plagued Indigenous women?
Dan Peled/AAP

Why is it still possible to climb Uluru?

Uluru's traditional owners have asked for decades that tourists not climb their sacred site. Parks Australia has committed to closing the climb – but only when some ambitious goals have been met.
A picture of strength: lifelong activist Bonita Mabo OA in front of her portrait as a young woman, which features in her granddaughter Boneta-Marie Mabo’s first solo exhibition. Josef Ruckli, courtesy of the State Library of Queensland

Black Velvet: redefining and celebrating Indigenous Australian women in art

Boneta-Marie Mabo's art responds to a colonial past in which Aboriginal women were fetishised as "black velvet". But it also celebrates strong women, including her activist grandmother Bonita Mabo.
There are some simple principles that would strengthen Aboriginal heritage protection. Monkey Mia, Shark Bay in Western Australia. Grant Matthews

Four ways Western Australia can improve Aboriginal heritage management

Aboriginal heritage has had significant protections removed in Western Australia. Following principles of respect and consultation would be a huge step forward for Aboriginal cultural management.
Adam Goodes continues to demonstrate through dignity and presence of mind, that he is an empowered Aboriginal man. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Adam Goodes, dignity and Aboriginal men: what the research says

Adam Goodes' actions – from his celebratory dance to his decision to temporarily withdraw from the AFL – epitomise the concept of male Indigenous dignity.
Australia’s Bumala-y Yuurrama-y seems to be accepted only when confined to matches between Indigenous players, yet all New Zealanders feel able to embrace the Haka. AAP/David Crosling

We all know and admire the Haka … so why not one of our own?

While AFL player Adam Goodes polarised Australians by performing an Indigenous war dance, New Zealanders unite in celebration of the Haka. The difference in approach to Indigenous culture is telling.
Members of the Chitimacha language team (from left to right) Sam Boutte, Kim Walden and Rachel Vilcan use the new language software for the first time.

Renaissance on the bayou: the revival of a lost language

In the face of war, disease and outside cultural pressures, the Chitimacha language has survived -- and now thrives.
Bush tucker is part of the connectedness with the land and each other that nourishes body and soul in Indigenous communities. AAP/Paul Miller

Happiness born of connectedness lifts up Aboriginal Australians

In Indigenous communities beset by tragedy and social problems, the connection to each other and to the land remains a powerful source of shared contentment and happiness.
Nakkiah Lui asks why audiences are so willing to see Indigenous suffering onstage – but so unprepared to confront racism elsewhere in their lives. Brett Boardman/ Belvoir St

Western Sydney meets the city in Nakkiah Lui’s Kill the Messenger

Playwright Nakkiah Lui plays herself in Kill the Messenger, now on at Sydney's Belvoir Theatre. Hers is a strong, passionate and resilient Indigenous voice – and she has a message to deliver.
‘Non-Indigenous Australian’ is one of the most multicultural ethnic identities in human history. Leigh Griffiths

Non-Indigenous Australians have to reconcile their needs

We know there will soon be a referendum on recognising Australia’s original inhabitants in the constitution – so what’s at stake? The answer is crucial for the policy approach we now call Aboriginal Reconciliation…
Inuit women carrying their kids in traditional hooded parkas. Indigenous midwifery programs have expanded across Canada and are linked to excellent health outcomes. Spencer/Flickr

Birthing on Country could deliver healthier babies and communities

Tony Abbott spent most of this week in North East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. In the final of our Abbott in…
Leader of the pack: Djalu Gurruwiwi of the Galpu clan leads younger performers at the 2013 Garma Festival in Arnhem Land. AAP Image/Youthu Yindi Foundation

Listen to your elders: inviting Aboriginal parents back to school

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
Djapana – sunset – at Bawaka in North-East Arnhem Land. Sarah Wright

Welcome to my Country: seeing the true beauty of life in Bawaka

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…

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