NAIDOC Week is a time to celebrate the history, cultures and achievements of Indigenous people.
It’s an important annual event where everyone’s invited to join in the celebrations. There are events taking place all across Australia. Attending a NAIDOC event is a great opportunity to learn more about the oldest living culture in the world.
Here’s how you can get involved:
> Find a NAIDOC Week event near you
> Display the NAIDOC Week poster in your workplace, organisation or school
> Plan an event to celebrate NAIDOC Week
> Learn about the history of NAIDOC Week
> Learn more about this year’s theme – Voice. Treaty. Truth.
We’d like to acknowledge and thank Yellaka, the group featured in this video. Yellaka is the blend of ancient traditional and contemporary Aboriginal dance, song and storytelling.
This year’s NAIDOC theme - Voice, Treaty, Truth – comes from the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart - a significant statement, put forth by Indigenous leaders, which calls for constitutional reforms. The Statement, which was delivered to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader, requests three reforms:
1. Voice - a First Nations voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution;
2. Treaty - a Makarrata* Commission to supervise treaty processes;
3. Truth - a process of truth-telling about Australia’s history and colonisation
Businesses and organisations across Australia have endorsed the Statement. Find out how you too can endorse it here.
Now’s a great time to read it and learn what it’s about.
Uluru Statement of the HeartWe, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the heart:Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago. This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown. How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years? With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood. Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future. These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness. We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country. We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution. Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination. We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history. In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.
NAIDOC Week in the classroom
Schools can play an important role in celebrating NAIDOC Week. Whether it be raising the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, hosting a Welcome to Country or running a NAIDOC event, your school can get involved.
Here are some great teaching resources:
< NAIDOC Week teaching guides
< NAIDOC Classroom Resources from SBS Learn
*Makarrata is a word from the language of the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land. The Yolngu concept of Makarrata captures the idea of two parties coming together after a struggle, healing the divisions of the past. It is about acknowledging that something has been done wrong, and it seeks to make things right.