Aboriginal Identity, world views, research and the story of the Burra'gorang

Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication Type:
Chapter
Citation:
Mia Mia Aboriginal Community Development Fostering Cultural Security, 2017, pp. 19 - 36
Issue Date:
2017
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IN RECENT TIMES there has been a growing recognition that some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities have been harmed and even divided by those who question their very right to identify as ‘Indigenous or not’ (Bodkin-Andrews & Carlson 2016 ; New South Wales Aboriginal Education Consultative Group [NSW AECG] 2011 ). Numerous scholars have suggested that such ‘questions’ are an unfortunate extension of the continual epistemological violence (a pressure on ways of knowing) that has sought to eradicate the diverse world views, histories, and knowledges of our peoples since colonisation (Bodkin 2013a ; Moreton-Robinson 2011 ; Nakata 2012 ), and that they result in the emergence of stereotypical accusations of ‘inauthenticity’, ‘wanna-be-Aborigines’, ‘welfare-blacks’, ‘fragmentation’ and ‘cultural absurdity’ (Behrendt 2006 ). It is the purpose of this chapter to highlight the existence of this form of epistemological and identity-based violence and explain how it threatens our communities. In addition, such violence will be challenged by focusing on the strength of diverse world views, knowledges and unique stories that exist within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities today. We also offer you a traditional D’harawal Law Story as the central case study within this chapter. This Law Story holds valuable insights that may guide individuals and communities towards a stronger and more resilient future.
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