NAIDOC Week 2023 is just around the corner, and it’s time to gear up for a wonderful celebration of First Nations Australian culture in our classrooms! This year’s NAIDOC theme, “For Our Elders,” calls upon us to honour and recognise the wisdom, knowledge, and contributions of First Nations Australian elders. So, let’s explore how we can integrate this rich cultural heritage into our teaching and create a meaningful experience for our students 💛
NAIDOC Week is an important event that takes place annually to celebrate the history, culture, and achievements of First Nations Australian people. By acknowledging NAIDOC Week in our classrooms, we provide an opportunity for our students to learn about and appreciate the diversity and unique heritage of First Nations Australians. This year, NAIDOC Week is running from July 2nd-9th.
This year’s theme, “For Our Elders”, emphasises the invaluable wisdom and guidance that First Nations Australian elders bring to their communities. Elders hold a wealth of knowledge, passed down through generations, and their contributions are instrumental in shaping and preserving Indigenous culture. This theme encourages us to engage with and learn from elders, fostering respect and understanding among our students.
To truly embrace the cultural context of your local area, it is essential to liaise with local First Nations Australian elders and community members. They can provide insights, stories, and resources that are specific to your region, enabling a more authentic and meaningful integration of First Nations Australian culture into your teaching. Reach out to community organisations, local Indigenous education officers, or elders directly to establish connections and build relationships.
💛 Welcome to Country and Acknowledgment of Country: Begin each day or significant event by acknowledging and respecting the traditional custodians of the land on which your school stands. Research and teach your students about the local traditional owners and their language group. You could even use our Acknowledgement of Country Writing Task to craft personal acknowledgements for your students and class!
💛 Storytelling and Dreaming Stories: Engage your students with Dreaming stories, which are rich in cultural knowledge and provide a deeper understanding of the land, animals, and ancestral beings. Invite elders or local community members to share their stories or use books, videos, or online resources to introduce these stories. We’ve just dropped a collection of incredible themed resources for the classic Dreaming story Tiddalick the Frog, including worksheets, a digital presentation and a craftivity!
💛 Art and Craft: Explore First Nations Australian art forms, such as dot painting, bark painting, or weaving. Encourage your students to create their own artworks inspired by these traditions, incorporating symbols and elements that reflect their understanding of the stories and culture. We recommend our Who Saw Turtle? Directed Drawing for a great starting point in the early years.
💛 Language and Song: Introduce basic words and phrases from local First Nations Australian languages. Encourage students to practice these words in conversations and incorporate them into songs and chants. This fosters appreciation and respect for First Nations Australian languages, promoting cultural diversity.
NAIDOC Week 2023 provides a fantastic opportunity for teachers to embrace and integrate First Nations Australian culture into their classrooms. By understanding and acknowledging the NAIDOC theme “For Our Elders,” we can actively involve local elders and community members to create an authentic and respectful learning experience for our students. Let’s celebrate the wisdom, stories, and contributions of First Nations Australian people and foster a sense of understanding and appreciation among our young learners. Together, we can inspire a generation that respects and values the diverse cultural heritage of our land ❤️💛🖤
Here at TT, we’ll be donating 10% of our sales from the month of July to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Make sure to check out some of the incredible work they do supporting the education of children in remote communities across Australia 💛