Articles on Indigenous history

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Adam Goodes in The Australian Dream: in the film he talks of finding an identity in football and with The Sydney Swans. Melbourne International Film Festival

The Australian Dream is must-see for lovers of football and this country

A new film chronicling the impact of racism on Indigenous football star Adam Goodes is both a damning and hopeful portrait of contemporary Australia.
Mukurtu is a Warumungu word meaning “dilly bag” or a safe keeping place for sacred materials. Nina Maile Gordon/The Conversation CC-NY-BD

Mukurtu: an online dilly bag for keeping Indigenous digital archives safe

Mukurtu: an online dilly bag for keeping Indigenous digital archives safe. The Conversation71.5 MB (download)
Mukurtu - Warumungu word meaning 'dilly bag' or a safe keeping place for sacred materials - is an online system helping Indigenous people conserve photos, songs and other digital archives.
An undated portrait thought to depict Bennelong, signed “W.W.” now in the Dixson Galleries of the State Library of New South Wales. Wikimedia Commons

Sailors’ journals shed new light on Bennelong, a man misunderstood by history

History has typically depicted Bennelong as a tragic figure lost between two worlds - but sailors' journals suggest he still held authority after his return from the UK.
It may be that the fortnight or so surrounding Australia Day is evolving into an annual season in which some of the deepest paradoxes of Australian identity play out in public. AAP/Glenn Campbell

New research reveals our complex attitudes to Australia Day

As the debate around celebrating Australia Day on January 26 continues, new research shows Australians have mixed views of it as a national day.
“New Hollanders” depicted in a 1698 edition of the explorer William Dampier’s journal. Courtesy of the Pacific Collection, Hamilton Library, University of Hawai'i-Mānoa

Found: the earliest European image of Aboriginal Australians

The image, depicting a group of Indigenous people resisting their enslavement, predates the next oldest image by 75 years.
An engraving of Dirimera and Conaci by Giuseppe Mochetti taken from a daguerreotype of April 5 1852. Acc no 77930P . With acknowledgements to the Archives of the Benedictine Community of New Norcia.

‘You don’t belong to my country either.’ How two Noongar boys spoke up, a world away from home

Aboriginal children are rarely named in the colonial archive. But the remarkable story of Dirimera and Conaci reveals two boys who, while removed from their land, had a keen sense of sovereignty.
Detail from Julie Shiels’ 1954 poster White on black: The annihilation of Aboriginal people and their culture cannot be separated from the destruction of nature. State Library of Victoria

Friday essay: the ‘great Australian silence’ 50 years on

It is 50 years since anthropologist W.E.H. Stanner gave the Boyer Lectures in which he coined the phrase 'the great Australian silence'. How far have we come since?
Social media has become a place of vitriolic myths about Indigenous peoples in the wake of the Gerald Stanley trial for the killing of Colten Boushie. Here, a vigil in support of Colten Boushie’s family on Feb. 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Social media full of vitriolic myths in the aftermath of the Stanley trial

Social media posts since Gerald Stanley’s acquittal have been saturated with vitriolic rants and myths. If reconciliation is to be more than an aspiration, settlers must acknowledge our culpability.
The painting Group of Natives of Tasmania, 1859, by Robert Dowling. Wikimedia

Explainer: the evidence for the Tasmanian genocide

That colonial wars were fought in Tasmania is irrefutable. More controversially, surviving evidence suggests the British enacted genocidal policies against the Tasmanian Aboriginal people.
Isabel Daniels weeps as she speaks of her murdered cousin, Nicole Daniels, at the opening day of hearings at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Winnipeg in October 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

Missing and murdered Indigenous women inquiry: We must listen and act

Canadians should be listening closely to stories coming from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. We need to hear the truth and then help justice move forward.
Fossilised ancient human footprints at the Mungo National Park. How are we to engage with a history that spans 65,000 years? Michael Amendolia/AAP

Friday essay: when did Australia’s human history begin?

Over the past half century, Australia has experienced a 'time revolution' with Indigenous history pushed back into the dizzying expanse of deep time. The latest discovery reminds us that science, like history, is an ongoing inquiry.
A scene from Bangarra Dance Theatre’s 2014 work Patyegarang. An Eora woman, Patyegarang became the main informant for William Dawes, the first European to sympathetically chronicle the language and culture of the Sydney landowners. Jess Bialek/AAP

Indigenous lives, the ‘cult of forgetfulness’ and the Australian Dictionary of Biography

Just 210 of nearly 13,000 biographical entries in the Australian Dictionary of Biography are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women. A new project aims to change this.

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